DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that the most encouraging aspect of their 34-26 victory against the Chiefs at DHL Newlands was the way the players fought for each other.
Fleck’s charges were pushed to the limit by a tough Chiefs side in an epic encounter and showed great character to extend their unbeaten run this season to six games.
The DHL Stormers coach described the win against the previously unbeaten Chiefs side who knocked them out of the competition in the quarterfinal last year as a ‘tipping point’ for his team.
“It wasn’t always in our favour and the Chiefs had us under the pump, but the things that we have worked on came through so I am very proud of the guys.
“The biggest thing for me is the growth that the team has shown over the last couple of months, so it was a tipping point for us and we can take a lot of confidence going forward.
“It just shows what is happening within the group, they know it wasn’t perfect today but they are fighting hard for each other.
“Just look at the defence at the end there, they were scrambling hard against one of the best attacking teams in the competition and we managed to stop them, so the character at the moment is top notch,” he said.
Whilst very happy with his team’s performance, Fleck knows that they face another serious examination this coming weekend when the Emirates Lions visit DHL Newlands for a mouth-watering South African derby.
“The Lions were finalists last year and are playing some great rugby this year, so it is back to square one on Monday.
“If we want to do well in this competition we are going to have to play like this every week. The guys realise that they have to play at this intensity in every game.
“It is about hard learnings again and improving again,” he said.
Although the DHL Stormers have lost some key players to injury, those that have got their opportunity have stepped up, which pleases Fleck no end.
“What’s happening at the moment is that whoever puts on the jersey is performing, that just shows that we are building capacity within the group.
“It was a tough week, but for them to put in a performance like that was outstanding, credit to both teams,” he added.