Kolisi: We always believed

Sun, 21 May 2017 09:42
Large stormers players look up 800

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: The Stormers took a lot of confidence into the half-time interval as they scored just before the break - a moment captain Siyamthanda Kolisi believes was the turning point of the game.

The Cape Town- based franchise may have trailed 10-12 at the break, but that try gave them the belief that they could turn things around.

"That try just before the break showed our character because everyone wanted to go for the try [instead of kicking for poles]. We weren't tired at half-time and went out there [in the second half] to continue with that momentum. 

"We believed throughout the game that we would pull through. Yes, there were some mistakes but we could feel the belief and the aggression were there. I felt like we wanted it more and minimised our mistakes [in the second 40 minutes]," Kolisi said.

Fleck paid tribute to his side for getting over the mental barrier of bouncing back following four consecutive defeats, especially when his side found themselves nine points behind early in the second half.

"It's not easy taking four losses in a row and a fifth would have been tough to swallow. The boys dug deep and started really playing when we were 10-19 behind. 

"We executed our game plan better, we kicked into gear and got more aggressive on defence. We finished the match off as a stronger team, our conditioning came through in the end.

"The tour [of New Zealand] was tough results wise but we kept on working hard and the result came. Our biggest challenge these last two weeks was the mental aspect. We lost our mojo a bit on attack [because of the defeats] and missed some scoring opportunities in both halves. 

"After 10-19, we kicked in. The tempo picked up - which is tough to do against New Zealand sides but we managed to do so in the last 20 minutes," Fleck said.

Fleck went on to say that he was pleased with the defensive performance of the side.

"We had a much-improved defensive performance where it was good to see our boys knocking them back behind the advantage line. I thought our line speed was excellent and certain decisions made put their big ball carriers under pressure.

"We experienced big time intensity and line speed on defence [on tour] which put us under a lot of pressure and we made a lot of mistakes - that's something we worked hard on. We are still making defensive mistakes though but we certainly put them [Blues] under pressure in the second half.

"We have had a tough run, we played six of the top sides in the past few weeks. We had to really dig deep and work hard. The focus won't change, regardless of the opposition. We will continue with the path we are on," he added.

@rugby365com

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