CAPE TOWN – Jaco Coetzee is an angry young man. In fact, the Stormers No 8 is “pis***” that he and his teammates are winless on their Australasian tour.
There have been some close calls, particularly in New Zealand against the Hurricanes and Blues, but finally a straight-shooter has emerged in the Stormers camp.
No talk about positives and lessons learnt. Just raw disappointment.
“After the game, it is very annoying and frustrating not to be able to pull through and score a few tries and win,” Coetzee admitted from Melbourne where the Stormers are set to face the Rebels on Friday.
"To lose three in a row has been taking a bit out of us. As teammates we are pis***, but not pis*** off at each other. We owe it to ourselves, we need to win.”
The odds on the Stormers actually breaking their duck on tour in Melbourne has dipped even further this week after their talismanic captain Siya Kolisi returned to Cape Town.
Team: Experienced prop Steven Kitshoff will captain the DHL Stormers against the Rebels on Friday, with Ernst van Rhyn on debut at openside flank and Seabelo Senatla on the replacements bench in Melbourne – https://t.co/QMpcTpOooJ #iamastormer
— DHL STORMERS (@THESTORMERS) April 10, 2019
With Pieter-Steph du Toit already back home too, the make-up of the Stormers’ loose trio will differ largely from the players who shaped up so well in the two matches in New Zealand. It is now a particularly youthful set of loose forwards who are in contention to run out at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium with Coetzee (22), Juarno Augustus (21), Johan du Toit (23) and Ernst van Rhyn (21) all vying for the three spots.
Instead of feeling the burden of filling the quite large boots of the Stormers and Bok skipper, Coetzee is relishing the chance to show off his skills against a talented team like the Rebels.
“I am very happy to be able to start in the No 8 jersey,” Coetzee said. “I did not give myself that chance this year especially with the loose forwards we have, but luckily I got that opportunity and I have been growing. I have lots of things to work on, both on and off the field and I am just grateful for every opportunity I get to play. I am just here to do the best I can for my team and myself.”
Although Coetzee has started the last two matches in the No 8 jersey, the former Glenwood High School learner could switch to No 6 in Kolisi’s absence.
It is a position he is familiar with having played there in the Currie Cup before for Western Province and is comfortable in that role should it be required.
“I got pushed to No 6 a few years ago, but there were a few aspects I needed to work on, especially my groundwork and ability to steal the ball. That has actually helped me to play No 8, because nowadays anyone can steal the ball.
I am very comfortable to play both,” Coetzee said.