Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe admitted he “almost had a heartattack” when the Force threatened to win their first match of the Vodacom Super 14.
The Cape franchise threw away a 21-13 lead to trail 21-25 with three minutes to go, before man-of-the-match Luke Watson barged his way over for the match-winning try.
“At the time I was so nervous that I couldn’t even sit in the dug-out anymore. I thought was going to have a heartattack,” said Fester afterwards. “We should have wrapped the game up long before the end and should never have been in a position where we could lose it with a few minutes to go. In those last few minutes I had visions of the past four weeks when we lost at the death.”
The embattled coach said it was pleasing to finally win a close game in the competition.
“In doing so we proved a few things to ourselves and also showed that we have learned a few things this season,” he said. “That it was so close does make the win that much sweeter. You could see how pumped the guys were in those last few minutes. It was an important result for us and some of the players said afterwards it was like winning the Currie Cup final.”
Meanwhile, Force captain Nathan Sharpe summed up his team’s defeat after the match.
“The boys are shattered,” he said. “We definitely got ourselves into a position to win but we made mistakes at crucial times and took the pressure off.”