Jaguares scare just what Stormers needed

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 11:58

REACTION: Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck believes the Jaguares gave them a glimpse of what to expect when they face the New Zealand sides later in their campaign.

The Cape side struggled to dominate play like they did against the Bulls last week as the Jaguares forced them into making quick decisions on attack with an effective rush defence.

The Argentinians also exposed some frailties in the Stormers' defence out wide in a game which Robbie Fleck's side won 32-25.

"I certainly feel it was a very good test for what's coming our way," Fleck told reporters after the game.

"Credit to them, they put us under a lot of pressure. Certainly, their line speed was very effective in taking out our attack. 

"I felt that they put us under a little pressure in the first half with their line speed and in the second half I felt their physicality increased and the tempo of the game increased from their side. 

"The way they took us on through the middle was pretty effective, so credit to them. I think they are a much-improved side. I was always worried about this game. It was a challenge with 21 Test players in their side."

Fleck said the game was good preparation for their upcoming matches against the powerful Kiwi teams.

"That was probably the best line speed we faced this year and that is how the Hurricanes and the Chiefs play," Fleck added.

"That's why it was a very good test for us. We got the [Southern] Kings next week and then we got the Sunwolves away. But then we got six games on the trot where we are playing teams like the Lions, Chiefs and Crusaders. They all bring a good line speed on defence. They tackle nice and low, they are hard on the ball at the breakdown and they carry low.

"These are all things that we faced against Chiefs in the quarterfinals [last year]. That is why I say it [Jaguares game] was a very good test for us to see where we are. 

"In the past, maybe we would have let this game slip, but we didn't and we fought hard towards the end."

Meanwhile, Cheslin Kolbe is doubtful for the match against the Southern Kings.

Kolbe left the field with what looked like a serious injury. However, Fleck is remaining optimistic.

"He has an ankle injury. It does not look too serious, but he might be out for a week or two," said Fleck.

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 30
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19