DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck wants his team to rise to the challenge that the Chiefs will pose at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
The DHL Stormers have made an encouraging start to the 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign with five consecutive wins thus far and will now face up to the team from Waikato that beat them in their quarterfinal at DHL Newlands last year.
Following their eight-try 53-10 victory over the Toyota Cheetahs, Fleck turned his attention to the Chiefs and explained that the DHL Stormers are determined to rise to the challenge.
“We have still got lots of work-ons for what is coming our way, there are lots of challenges going into next week.
“This week will be the ultimate test to see how far we have come, we certainly have seen signs of improvement and we have grown as a team.
“It is up to us as a group now to put some good plans in place and understand who we are facing,” he said.
Fleck was delighted with the intensity his team showed against the Toyota Cheetahs, with their defence a particular point of pride as that is something they worked hard on during the week.
“The tempo, the urgency, the support play was outstanding, we were offloading at the right time and all of them stuck.
“The biggest positive was our defence, it was a big work-on for us during the week and we knew the Cheetahs are a good attacking team but we handled it well.
“I felt the guys got off the line and put them under pressure and we didn’t allow them any space, then the urgency to get back in the line was excellent.
“It was probably the highest tempo we have faced this year, so it was a good test for us. The Kiwi sides will up the tempo and ask lots of questions of us defensively,” he said.
One moment that stood out was when Cheslin Kolbe showed incredible commitment to chase down Toyota Cheetahs loose forward Henco Venter and tackle him just before he was able to score.
“That showed what this team is about at the moment, that never-say-die attitude. I was really pleased for him [Kolbe] and I celebrated that purely because of his effort.
“To see the team get around him and rally around him is a good feeling as a coach. I have been in that situation before being tackled on the line, so I know what it feels like,” said Fleck.
The only new injury concern following the win against the Toyota Cheetahs is scrumhalf Jano Vermaak who had to leave the field with concussion.