DHL Stormers show killer instinct

PUBLISHED: July 2, 2016

DHL Stormers coach Robbie Fleck was encouraged by the way his team closed out their 57-31 victory against the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday.

DHL Stormers coach Robbie Fleck was encouraged by the way his team closed out their 57-31 victory against the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday.

Fleck’s charges scored four unanswered tries in the last 20 minutes to power away from the hosts and pick up a valuable bonus-point win on the road.

Having dominated the set-pieces throughout, the DHL Stormers made that ascendancy count in the final stages to take the game away from the Rebels and consolidate their spot at the top of Africa Conference One with just two games left before the Vodacom Super Rugby play-offs.

The DHL Stormers coach said that after an even first half, his team showed some tactical maturity in the second half to make their dominance up front count.

“It was a massively important win for us in terms of the stage of the competition, there was a bit of pressure coming into this game, but the boys certainly stood up and delivered.

“I felt in the first half it was pretty even, even though we were dominating the set-piece I thought the Rebels did well to stretch us and scored some decent tries.

“In the second half we played better football, we were clever. We played the territory game and with that dominance up front it played into our hands there so I am very satisfied with the outcome,” he said.

The impact of the replacements played a big role in the dominant second-half performance, which Fleck says will do a lot for the confidence of the squad heading towards the business-end of the campaign.

“We went for that 6-2 split on the bench and our focus was that we wanted to dominate up front, and the bench played its role when they came on.

“It is a big win for us, it is one of the biggest wins the team has had in Australasia and it does a lot for our confidence going forward,” he added.

Fleck paid tribute to the captaincy of veteran Schalk Burger, whose leadership was crucial in securing the bonus point at the end.

“Credit to Schalk and his captaincy, he made some important calls at the end there and it is an important bonus point for us,” he added.

Burger said that while it was a morale-boosting win, the team knows that there are still some areas in which they can improve.

“We seemed to get it right this week, I think we played nicely, we were quite accurate and I think if we are accurate we are quite effective.

“Based on tonight’s performance we have got a few work-ons, the Rebels put us under massive pressure on defence. They are a good attacking side and they put us under a lot of pressure,” he said.

The next challenge for the DHL Stormers is a trip to Perth to face the Force, and Burger is expecting another stern test.

“In Vodacom Super Rugby things change weekly, and going to the Force we have a decent record there but we have never really put them away, it has always been tight.

“They have got a couple of South Africans in their system coaching so they will be fired up for it,” he added.