Stormers were simply blown away

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 07:57

SUPER RUGY REACTION: A first half Crusaders blitzkrieg, which led to a 36-3 half-time lead, was more than enough to put the result to bed despite a much-improved second-half performance by the Stormers.

The second half ended deadlocked on 21-21 and that is something Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck is positive about as they head towards their second match on their New Zealand tour.

"We are going to be better [from the defeat] because the second half performance gave us plenty of positives to take - we were better on attack and defence. We can't look that much into the first half as the Crusaders were just too good for us. 

"We struggled to stop their momentum, their offload game was outstanding. Once they got the roll on us, it was tough to stop them. They were putting us under pressure at the breakdown in the first half and defence was a big issue for us. Regardless of what the score was going into the shed [half-time], it was a better performance from us in the second half.

"I think that we stuck to our plan and the players relaxed a lot more when we grabbed that first try, which led to us playing a lot better," Fleck said.

Fleck paid credit to the Crusaders' defensive improvements.

"One thing about them [Crusaders] is that their defensive system has changed. Their line speed is outstanding and that had us on the back foot, especially in the first half. They have made huge strides as a team," he added.

The coach believes the defeat will stand the Stormers in good stead as they head into their second tour match - against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

"We always knew it was going to be a tough tour for us as this is a young group with only about three players who played in Christchurch before. 

"This tour is about us finding each other again against tough teams in tough conditions. We want to play against the Kiwi sides who are the best in the competition. If we feel like we can learn from every performance, then it will stand us in good stead going forward," he said.

@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
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Team P W D L Pts
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Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
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Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
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