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Stormers to focus on the positives of tough draw

Stormers Super Rugby coach Allister Coetzee

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Article Published: Wednesday 9 October 2013

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says that they will have to look at the positives of the tough Super Rugby draw they have been given for the 2014 season.

The Stormers start the season with a bye as they did in 2011 when they won their first South African Super Rugby Conference title and then they open their season against the Lions in Johannesburg.

Their first home match is against the Hurricanes on Friday, February the 28th and then they travel to Australia and New Zealand for four weeks where they will play the Crusaders and then the defending champion Chiefs, the Brumbies and the Reds on successive weekends in March.

"It's a tough draw, but we will take what we've been given," said Coetzee on the Stormers site.

"We will look that first bye week as a positive," added the Stormers boss.

"The last time we had a first-round bye was in 2011 and we finished second on the log and got a home semifinal."

"That bye first up gives you a break after your pre-season matches and it helps with your pre-tournament planning and match sharpness and, possibly, resting any injuries leading into the tournament.

"It also allows you to have a look at your opponents and to see how the other teams are shaping up."

After their four-match tour, the Stormers will take on the Waratahs in Cape Town on Saturday, April 5.

They will play five home games in April and May, followed by two more home fixtures in July - against the Bulls and the Sharks - to bring the curtain down on their 2014 league campaign.

"It's a tough tour. Those are all quality teams that could beat you at home, nevermind away from home," said Coetzee.

"But, like I said, it's what we've been given and even though our focus right now is purely on the Currie Cup - and its business-end - we will take what we've been given."

The Stormers' 2014 Super Rugby fixtures:

All kick-off times local (SA time);

February 14/15/16 - BYE
Saturday, February 22: v Lions, Johannesburg - 19h10
Friday, February 28: v Hurricanes, Cape Town - 19h10
Saturday, March 8: v Crusaders, Christchurch - 08h35
Friday, March 14: v Chiefs, Hamilton - 08h35
Saturday, March 22: v Brumbies, Canberra - 10h40
Saturday, March 29: v Reds, Brisbane - 10h40
Saturday, April 5: v Waratahs, Cape Town - 19h10
April 11/12/13 - BYE
Saturday, April 19: v Lions, Cape Town - 17h05
Saturday, April 26: v Cheetahs, Bloemfontein - 17h05
Saturday, May 3: v Highlanders, Cape Town - 15h00
Saturday, May 10: v Bulls, Pretoria - 19h10
Saturday, May 17: v Force, Cape Town - 17h05
Saturday, May 24: v Cheetahs, Cape Town - 17h05
Saturday, May 31: v Sharks, Durban - 19h10
Saturday, July 5: v Bulls, Cape Town - 17h05
Saturday, July 12: v Sharks, Cape Town 19h10

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