Stormers keep it real

Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe admits his side still has a long way to go despite beating the champion Crusaders at Newlands.

The Cape franchise won their first home match of the season on Saturday night, but are keeping their feet firmly on the ground ahead of their next fixture against the Sharks in Durban.

“It doesn’t make us a good team after one victory, just like the Crusaders are not a weak team and Robbie Deans a poor coach after just one defeat. We’ve still got a long way to go,” Van der Merwe told Die Burger. “We’ll take the first steps on Saturday when we’ll have to maintain the same high level of play against the Sharks.”

After watching the Stormers self destruct throughout the season, Van der Merwe was pleased to have finally produced a complete performance.

“One of the main reasons was that we played for the entire 80 minutes for the first time this year,” he said. “We wanted the win more than what the Crusaders wanted it and that was the driving force behind the players. They didn’t just play well at times. Our defence especially was committed from the word go right to the end. The Crusaders wanted to play wide from the start, but our aggressive midfield defence frustrated them no end.”

Van der Merwe also praised his Springboks, who finally produced the goods after a number of disappointing displays.

“De Wet Barry played well against the Reds, but this time he went up another notch,” he said. “Jean de Villiers, Joe van Niekerk and Eddie Andrews followed hot on his heels. Schalk Burger was phenomenal and Luke Watson again produced a top class performance.”