Stormers will keep pushing the boundaries

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 09:33

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
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10