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, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28