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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 09h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 11h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 09h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 11h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
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