'Frustrated' Stormers scratching their heads

Sun, 09 Jul 2017 15:09

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck was not a happy man after his team's unimpressive 52-15 win over the Sunwolves at Newlands on Saturday.

The Cape side scored eight tries on their way to victory, but it was not a performance that will give any Stormers fan confidence heading into the play-offs in a fortnight.

For large parts of the game, Robbie Fleck's side looked disjointed on attack and defence against a Sunwolves side looking to bounce back after their horror show against the Lions in Johannesburg a week earlier.

"It was not great," Fleck told reporters after the match. "We were pretty frustrated with the first half performance. The way the game was going, the first half sort of frustrated us and we actually chatted about it in the box. 

"We were looking for a bit of continuity and a bit of momentum - we just could not get going in that first half. Every time they [Sunwolves] turned over the ball we turned it over again. There were just too many mistakes from our side. Credit to them, they stretched us defensively in that first half, but we had a good chat at half-time. 

"It was a little bit better in the second half, but it was not what we were looking for. We have been speaking all week about building on the momentum from last week and taking a lot of confidence going forward. 

Fleck said last-minute changes to his starting XV also played a role in his team's poor performance.

Frans Malherbe and Eben Etzebeth were both late withdrawals from the starting side because of flu.

"This week's training was outstanding. We trained incredibly well, both on Tuesday and on Thursday, and we were pretty excited about this game.

"But obviously those disruptions - those late withdrawals - definitely affected us going onto the pitch today [Saturday]. 

"We got to give credit to the Sunwolves. They came off a big loss last weekend so they certainly weren't going to let that happen again. 

"They frustrated us a little bit and they got in between us. Like I said, we just could not get going in the first half. We had to live off scraps, I think they dominated territory and possession in that first half and on turnover ball we got a few lucky breaks and got some tries in there. 

"The second half was a little bit better, but from our perspective, it wasn't really the type of game that we wanted. We wanted to build on a few phases on attack. We put some good plans in place and we couldn't really get going on attack.

"Credit to them, they were certainly up for it and they put us under pressure at stages. We won the game at the end with 50 points, but we are not happy as a group. 

"It's happened now at least and we can look forward to next weekend [against the Bulls] and the quarterfinals," Fleck added.

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

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