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De Villiers happy for Stormers to win ugly

Article Published: Sunday 4 March 2012

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Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said he was happy to take their 15-12 win over the Sharks in a Super Rugby match in Cape Town even though it wasn't flashy.

De Villiers said he decided spontaneously that substitute flyhalf Peter Grant should take the penalty kick which was awarded when scores were locked at 12-all, with two minutes left in the match.

"It's something that comes with experience, you just know who to ask, and what should be done," said De Villiers.

"I just threw the ball to him and said: 'Good luck, Bashy'. The rest is history."

Grant, who goes by the nickname 'Bash' at the Stormers, cooly rifled his shot from the grandstand touchline through the posts.

"Yes, it (our performance) was not flashy but it's still early days, and there's room for improvement," said De Villiers.

"It would be great if we can make a habit of pulling through a game like this one. We had a very young pack out there today, and see how well they went against quality opposition."

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said it spoke volumes for the way the group had matured in recent times.

"A few years ago, the Stormers would have lost in a match situation like we've had today, but it just goes show how this group has matured, and was able to pull through," said Coetzee.

"Don't underestimate any Sharks side. They're a quality side and they pitched here tonight to play really well. Two years ago we'd have lost this game."

The Stormers again impressed at scrum time Saturday, and Coetzee was also looking to step up his side's attack ability.

"The way we scrummed after being criticised heavily in the warm-up games was just pleasing to see. The front row and the pack responded in such an impressive way," said Coetzee.

"We scrummed very well. We contested well at lineout time. It was a typical South African derby game which is always going to be close."

Coetzee also acknowledged Grant's match-winning contribution.

"And thankfully the man from Japan arrived in time and went on in time and he kicked it over," said Coetzee.

"Obviously there are quite a lot of things to work on, but credit to all the players."

Coetzee said he was impressed with the way some of the youngsters in his team handled the pressure and he was relieved that his seasoned campaigners were back at full strength.

A disappointed Sharks coach John Plumtree said after the game that his side needed an "all-round" game in order to defeat the Stormers.

He, however, refused to blame the many second-half penalties for his side's defeat.

"We needed to be good in all areas of the game, rather than be good in some aspects," said Plumtree.

"We wanted to play good rugby here and I was pleased with the effort.

"It's easy to turn this around. We just have to start winning."

 
 
 
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