Stormers will keep pushing the boundaries
PRE-SEASON SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers are determined to shed their tag as a dour, defensive-orientated team. Jan de Koning reports.
So determined are they, the Cape Town-based franchise are willing to 'leak' some tries to drive home the point that they are evolving.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck - in the wake of his team's 57-40 (nine-try) demolition of the Lions - said his team would continue to "push the boundaries" as they adopt a more expansive game with the help of New Zealander Paul Feeney.
"It was important that we achieved our [pre-season] goals and we achieved those," Fleck said, as he started to look forward to the team's first-round match against the Bulls at Newlands on February 25.
"After our three pre-season games I can say we are happy," Fleck said, adding that there is still "lots of room" for improvement.
"The way we attacked and the way we kept the intensity up, that is pleasing.
He said the pre-season was all about promoting the fact that players must "look for opportunities" and then get the balance right between attack and defence.
"Even though at times we pushed it, that is the direction the team is heading in," the Stormers coach said, adding: "When it did work it looked good.
"It is the direction the team wants to go in and we will keep pushing the boundaries.
"We would rather keep it positive and reap the high rewards, rather than tell the players not to do it.
"In two weeks' time [against the Bulls] we need to make better decisions."
He reiterated that winning all three his team's pre-season games were important.
"We are building confidence in the camp and the stuff we worked on in pre-season are coming through.
"I don't think we would be changing our tactics," he said of their REound One fixture against their arch rivals.
"The Bulls present a different challenge and we will play smart rugby.
"What we saw [against the Lions] is what we saw in Zimbabwe [against the Cheetahs] and what we saw in George [against the SWD Eagles] and we want to keep the confidence."
One of the big questions obviously is who will replace the injured Juan de Jongh as captain, but Fleck remained tightlipped - saying the captain will be named in the week before the opening match against the Bulls at Newlands.
By Jan de Koning