Stormers need to maintain the standard

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 06:33

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: The Stormers has now set a standard and created a level of expectancy for the remainder of the competition following their victory over the Chiefs at Newlands. Tauriq Ebrahim reports.

The Cape Town-based franchise was defensively outstanding in the final 10 minutes of the encounter and have put to bed the shadow that has hung over them after their humbling 21-60 defeat at the hands of the Chiefs in the 2016 quarterfinals.

"It's been a long journey since the quarterfinal. I am immensely proud of the way the boys played but it wasn't always in our favour, the Chiefs had us under the pump for many parts of the game. 

"The things that we had worked on and identified [during pre-season] came through [in the match]. When they got into our half, they put us under pressure but we had guts and determination. This was a tipping point for us and we can now take a lot of confidence going forward. 

"We reached a tipping point in the sense that there is growth in the team and we are starting to believe as a group. We have to enjoy the win against arguably the best New Zealand side," Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said.

The encounter was always going to be the first real test of the season and had they not been successful at the conclusion of the game, Fleck stated that they would not have had any doubts about their style of play. However, the victory has now vindicated their decision to change the Stormers' brand.

"I don't think we would have doubts had we lost the game, we probably would have gotten more answers of where we are going. It certainly gives me, and the coaching group, confidence that we are on the right track. 

"Everyone has belief and we are just going to keep going. We are realistic though, there are still a few cracks that we need to work on but if we want to do well in this competition, we will have to play like we did [against the Chiefs] every week. The team realises that we have to play at this intensity every game," he added.

Fleck added that his side is beginning to learn to play under fatigue - something the New Zealand sides have practically perfected.

"What the Kiwi teams have learnt is to play under fatigue and that is something that we still need to learn. There was a bit of growth because we had to play under extreme fatigue. 

"They upped the tempo in the last 15 minutes and had this been last year, we would have fallen off. We are fit but we need to play under extreme conditions and that showed in the defence in the last couple of minutes. 

"I do think that South Africans are fit but need to learn to stay in the game when we are tired and that's where I feel they [the New Zealand teams] take it to a new level - they can still attack and play when they are tired," Fleck stated.

By Tauriq Ebrahim
@Tauriq365
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
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 Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 57 | 14
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
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
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 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 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