Stormers have Lions on their mind

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 13:32
Large robbie fleck in melbourne 800

REACTION: Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck is excited to see how much his team have progressed when they face the Lions in their final pre-season friendly at Newlands on Saturday.

Fleck's squad picked up a morale-boosting nine-try 57-14 victory against franchise partners South Western District Eagles at Outeniqua Park in George on Saturday and will wrap up their preparations for the season by hosting the 2016 Super Rugby finalists.

The Stormers coach was pleased with the way his squad came through the clash in George where conditions added to the challenge for the players and forced them to adapt their game.

"In the first half the ball was like a piece of soap and it was a good opportunity for us to play a bit of territory. Our forwards got stuck in which was very pleasing, especially with such a young pack.

"We played smart rugby and once we got in their half we put them under pressure, which is pleasing. Our line-out functioned extremely well and we scrummed particularly well against probably a heavier pack.

"In the second half when the ball dried out a bit and the pitch dried up we were able to move them around better which was why we were able to score six tries in the second half.

"Conditions dictated what happened in both halves so it was pleasing that we showed we can play it tight and then open it up when it dried up which is great to see," he said.

Fleck was encouraged by the impact that the players returning from injury made, alongside some talented youngsters.

"It was a good blend of youth and experience and the boys stood up, there were a few mistakes but that was due to the conditions I think.

"There were some pleasing performances from guys who have just come back from injury and from the youngsters.

"It was a welcome return for guys like JD Schickerling, Jean-Luc du Plessis, EW Viljoen and Dan Kriel who have been out for a long time so that was pleasing," he said.

Turning his attention to the Lions, Fleck said that the Johannesburg side are the ideal opposition to measure themselves against before the season kicks off on February 25 when they host the Bulls at Newlands.

"The Lions were the best attacking side in the competition last year, they have been able to play at a tempo and intensity that matches the Kiwi sides, so there is no better opposition than the Lions.

"It will be a true test of how far we have come since last year, it will be a great test for us. The big thing for me is the tempo and intensity that they bring, so we want to see where we are in terms of that and if we have improved," he explained.

Of course, the Stormers are also excited to be playing at Newlands for the first time in 2017 and Fleck said that the players are eager to show their faithful fans how far they have come since last season.

"We have played two away games now and it will be nice to be at home. It is always good for the players to get that feeling of playing at Newlands in front of our crowd and it is a great opportunity for our fans to come see how far we have come and some of the youngsters we have got coming through at the moment.

"There is a new generation of rugby players at Western Province and the Stormers and they will be on show," he added.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 November 2017
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
Ulster v Treviso 19h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 19h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h45 Kingston Park
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 15h00 Madejski Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28