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
@leezil07
@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