Stormers’ defence intact ahead of Chiefs clash

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 06:54

REACTION: Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck praised his side's impeccable defence after their 53-10 win against the Cheetahs at Newlands.

A hat-trick of tries from Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Dillon Leyds' brace helped the hosts record their fifth consecutive victory.

Despite scoring eight tries to Cheetahs' one, Fleck was more impressed with his side's defence as they took a 22-3 lead at the half-time against a woeful Cheetahs side.

"The tempo, the urgency, the support play was outstanding and offloading just came at the right time. It could have gone horribly wrong, but I think it was just one of those days where everything sort of stuck.

"The biggest positive was our defence.  

“The defence was big work-on for us during the week and we knew the Cheetahs were a good attacking team, but we handled it really well. We did put them under pressure and didn’t allow them to attack," Fleck told reporters.

Cheetahs could have scored a second try in the dying minutes but Cheslin Kolbe's tackle - which led to Henco Venter spilling the ball over the try-line - made sure Fleck's troops end the match on a high note.

Commenting on Kolbe's tackle the mentor patented it as the 'moment'.

"I think that was one moment that changed everything, it just showed that never say die attitude of the side.

"It is a good feeling as a coach to see how the players rallied around him afterwards. To see that unity amongst them just showed where we are currently," he said.  

The Stormers face a stern test this week when they take on their first New Zealand opponents the Chiefs at Newlands – a repeat of the 2016 Super Rugby quarter-final.

Chiefs and Crusaders are the only others among the 18 in the competition to have won all their matches this year.

The Chiefs match will be the start of a tough run of fixtures, which includes the Lions (home), Crusaders (away), Highlanders (away), Hurricanes (away) and Blues (home). There is some reprieve with a bye between the Hurricanes and Blues matches.

Fleck said that the Cheetahs' clash has indeed prepared them for what to expect, but admits the Chiefs' results will truly reveal how they have improved.  

"The Cheetahs stretched us, they asked a lot of questions in terms of our defence. It was probably the highest tempo that we faced thus far.

" It’s a good test for us heading into the Chiefs’ clash.

"We still have a lot of work-ons, and this week will be the ultimate test of how far we have come. We certainly have improved since last year but you can only really judge yourself when you face the best,"

Meanwhile, Jano Vermaak left the field in the 14th minutes with a concussion. The scrumhalf - who just recovered from a calf injury - was escorted to the hospital. The extent of his concussion will be confirmed once they have been properly assessed.  

By Leezil Hendricks

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 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