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
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
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