The DHL Stormers had a good day’s training in Sydney on Tuesday ahead of their Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Waratahs this coming weekend.
The Men from the Cape face a tough challenge against the Sydneysiders on Saturday (kick-off 11h40 SA time), but assistant coach Robbie Fleck was in good spirits when speaking to the iamastormer.com website from Sydney.
“We had a very good day today – we did some defence and kicking,” said Fleck on Tuesday evening (Australian time), shortly after returning to the team hotel after their weekly team dinner out.
“The boys, as you know, had a rest on Monday – but they did some gym and video work and we had some good meetings. They were well prepared for both of today’s sessions; they looked sharp and ready.
“We’re obviously playing against a very good attacking side, in the Waratahs,” added Fleck, “so our defence will need to be top-notch again.”
Looking back to last week’s one-point loss to the Blues, with an eye on where they needed to improve ahead of this Saturday’s challenge at Allianz Stadium, Fleck added: “It was nice to score two good tries (against the Blues).
“We felt that we probably could have done a little bit better with the possession, but we put them under pressure when we needed to – although it came a bit late in the game.
“We’ve concentrated hard on our discipline in defence. It was a disappointing loss, we had plenty (of) opportunities which we did not convert, and now we’ve got a massive game against the Waratahs this weekend.”
As things stand now, the DHL Stormers have played nine matches in 2013 – winning four and losing five but there is still a massive resolve within this side; starting this weekend and in their remaining league matches.
“There’s always pressure to win when you’re in a DHL Stormers jersey, so every game is about winning for us,” said Fleck.
“There were just too many disciplinary errors and errors in general last week. It’s one thing we’ve spoken a lot about (this week) and if we can just take the opportunities like we did in the last 20 minutes we tend to put teams to bed. There’s a real focus to get our discipline right and just to build a few phases and put the opposition under pressure.
“We’re really excited about playing against a quality outfit on Saturday,” he added. “We know the situation we’re in… and by no means are we down and out. We’re still keen to do well and anything can happen – we’re looking forward to it.”
The Waratahs – under the coaching of Michael Cheika this season – arrived back in Sydney this week after their 72-10 demolition of the Kings in Port Elizabeth and Fleck had nothing but praise for this weekend’s opponents, their third on their tough four-match tour of Australasia.
“The Waratahs played really well last weekend,” said the Stormers assistant coach.
“They’ve dominated in some matches, but they’re a different side in the sense that they’re attacking far more now than in previous seasons and it’s starting to bear fruit for them. The game against the Kings (last weekend) was a special effort from them. The Kings have been good defensively this year, up until now, so it shows what a quality team the Waratahs are.”
All 26 players in the DHL Stormers squad are fit and up for selection ahead of the weekend. Head coach Allister Coetzee will announce the team, to take on the ‘Tahs, at 10h30 on Wednesday morning (SA time).