DHL Stormers coach Robbie Fleck was pleased with what he saw from his team in their 29-14 victory over the Jaguares in a pre-season friendly at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
The DHL Stormers outscored the visitors by four tries to two with outside backs Leolin Zas, Dillyn Leyds and Khanyo Ngcukana all crossing the whitewash before lock JD Schickerling finished off a flowing movement late in the game to put the seal on a convincing performance.
Fleck said that it was especially pleasing to see his side deliver in a few key areas that they have been focusing on in the pre-season.
“We were facing a good team, and the way that we managed it in the first half was pleasing. There are far more positives than work-ons, so I am pleased.
“Our scrummaging performance was good, and our mauls started to work nicely towards the end.
“Our line-out operated really well, we made a number of changes at the end and it still operated very well.
“I thought our breakdown was excellent, which is something we really have focused on. Our body height in the clean was exceptional.
“Towards the end there was good interplay which is something we have really worked on. As we grew in confidence our game came together.
“When we did keep ball in hand we were good, and we put them under pressure,” he said.
The DHL Stormers coach said that the friendly clash also helped reveal a few areas that still need some work before the Vodacom Super Rugby season starts in a fortnight.
“There are a couple of work-ons, which is a good thing, but taking stock of where we are now I am pretty pleased with the performance.
“We need to make better decisions, certainly in our kicking game, I think we pushed it a little bit. There were some good attacking kicks where we put them under pressure but we probably pushed that too much as the game went on,” he explained.
With the likes of Schalk Burger, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe, Juan de Jongh and Cheslin Kolbe back in the mix, the focus for Fleck is to ensure that his side are primed for their Vodacom Super Rugby opener against the Vodacom Bulls at DHL Newlands on February 27.
“We are nearing full strength in terms of our squad, we will probably look to narrow our squad down to 32 players on Monday.
“We have got a hard week ahead of us before we get into that Bulls week. It has been a tough pre-season thus far, but we will not hold back – we have got a job to do.
“It is massively important that we get off to a good start in this campaign,” he added.