Coetzee lauds Habana chargedown
April 27, 2013
Bryan Habana marked his return with a superb chargedown late in the first half © Getty Images
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was delighted that wing Bryan Habana's experience and on-field thinking resulted in a chargedown of a conversion that might have denied his side a win over the Hurricanes in Palmerston North on Friday night.
Hurricanes goal-kicker Beauden Barrett was making the attempt just on the half-time break, but as he moved in for the kick, Habana was out of the blocks like an Olympic sprint finalist and was able to deflect the kick which denied the Hurricanes two points in their 16-18 loss.
"Bryan Habana is always thinking on the field, always has his head in the game. I haven't seen that done in a long time to charge down a guy who sets up for a conversion," Coetzee said.
That experience Habana offered was a perfect reason why he should come straight back into the mix when recovered from injury, he said.
Coetzee said the most important thing had been to win the opening game of the tour. "They showed a lot of character," he said.
Losses to the Crusaders and Cheetahs had been frustrating but to win a close game like that against the Hurricanes was an important step in the right direction.
"The set piece, in tough conditions like tonight, with a big wind and slippery conditions, I think our set piece functioned well. I think our tactics were good. I think we adapted better than the Hurricanes," he said.
The pack was deserving of credit while the defence had also stood up nicely. But he added that neither he nor the players were satisfied with their performance and they had to improve significantly if they wanted to be successful against a quality Blues team next week.