Stormers pay a dear price

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 23:26
Large damian de allende stormers tackled 2017 800

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: The Stormers hit Newlands running, much to the delight of the home crowd but their 37-24 victory over the Bulls came at a massive price with news that centre Damian de Allende will be sidelined.

De Allende left the field on the back of the medical car and the initial prognosis is not good news.

"Damian [de Allende] suffered an ankle injury and I don't want to get into it until we know the extent of the injury but from the initial news we received, it does not look good," Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said.

This leaves the Stormers with a bit of a headache in the centres department, although they will welcome Huw Jones back for their next encounter while they have also unearthed a handy centre in EW Viljoen.

"Injuries are part of the game but Huw Jones will join us for the next match [against the Jaguares on March 4] before he heading back [to the Six Nations].

"I think that EW [Viljoen] had a good game and he made some excellent decisions in the wide channel. He stands up well on attack, looks for the offload and he was outstanding on defence. With Damian being out, he will now play a big role for us this during the campaign," Fleck added.

While the Stormers may have grabbed five tries, three of which coming in the first half when they kept the Bulls scoreless, Fleck was not entirely happy with their second half performance that allowed the Bulls to get into the game.

"There was some soft moments on our kick-off receiving and a few individual mistakes that allowed the Bulls into the game [in the second half]. The disappointing part was that we spoke at half-time about not letting them back in, as we wanted to continue our momentum.

"Maybe it was a little bit of enthusiasm that got the better of us but it's small things and we can fix it. As a group, we will be hard on ourselves and can only improve [from here].

"I am glad it [errors] happened because we need to continue working hard as it's the start of a long competition," he stated.

Despite some errors creeping into their game in the second half, Fleck was pleased with the overall performance - especially in defence, the set-pieces and at the breakdowns.

"We got it tactically right in the first half and I felt that our physicality was outstanding. We took our opportunities when it came our way and we have to savour this moment. It was a good performance from us, we have a lot of positives to take from the game but we are certainly not the finished product yet.

"We pride ourselves on the set-pieces and we scrummed well. We lost one or two line-outs but I am still happy.

"I thought our line-speed was very good - it's something that is new to us. We are going to make mistakes [in that area] but overall, there were stages where we were knocking them back. This is probably the biggest pack in the competition and I felt our guys got stuck in defensively.

"Our breakdown was good on both defence and attack. We got good, clean ball on attack and put them under pressure on defence. If you want to beat the New Zealand teams and the likes of the Lions, you have to be brutal at the breakdowns.

"It is something we are learning and I feel that we are getting better at it," he added.

Fleck gave credit to both teams for playing the game at a high tempo and believes that the match was a good exhibition of where the South African game is headed.

By Tauriq Ebrahim

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4