DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck was impressed with the character his team showed to fight back under pressure and secure a 44-31 victory against the Sunwolves in Singapore on Saturday.
Having trailed 24-20 at half-time, the DHL Stormers turned things around with a dominant second-half performance, to pick up their fourth consecutive victory of the season.
Fleck paid tribute to the efforts of their hosts, who managed to put the DHL Stormers under significant pressure in the opening half-hour.
“Credit to the Sunwolves, in the first 30 minutes they put us under pressure with a combination of ball-in-hand and some attacking kicks and they got a lot of yards.
“There were two big mistakes from us in our own half which led to their first two tries, but we slowly started to get the plan right which enabled us to get back into the game,” he said.
The DHL Stormers coach explained that his team managed to keep their compusure and adapt their approach which saw them gain control of the contest as they ran in six tries in the end.
“We had a good chat at half-time, there was no panic we just had to get back to what we had planned to do. We had to adapt a little bit because of the way that the Sunwolves were playing.
“It was a pretty powerful performance in the second half for a good win in the end in tough conditions and tough circumstances. It is a young group and everyone played their role.
“Once we got going in that second half our plans started to come through quite nicely and for a young group that is hugely positive.
“We adapted extremely well and enforced the plan brilliantly in that second half,” he explained.
Fleck said that the way the DHL Stormers fought back against a tough Sunwolves outfit showed that they have got a positive mindset which will stand them in good stead going forward this season.
“The Sunwolves are a dangerous team and they have improved every week, so for us to travel here and win was important for us.
“There were quite a few players who had to play out of position and we introduced two new players in Cobus Wiese and Caylib Oosthuizen, so we are building capacity.
“This performance shows that we can play various gameplans and for such a young group that is massively positive.
“We are coming back a satisfied group and the fact that we showed that we can fight back from being so far down is important. It shows that this group is working hard and they have got that mental capacity to fight back and win a game under difficult circumstances,” he said.
There were a few injury blows sustained in Singapore with Rynhardt Elstadt (ankle), Wilco Louw (sternum) and Seabelo Senatla (foot) all added to the list. The full extent of these injuries will be confirmed once they have been properly assessed in Cape Town.
The DHL Stormers now turn their attention to the Toyota Cheetahs who they face at DHL Newlands on Saturday, April 1.
Fleck said that he will have some tough selection decisions to make this week with a number of players impressing in Singapore and others returning from being rested this week.
“We have got an extremely tough match against the Cheetahs who are a quality outfit and we have got to plan accordingly.
“There are some players who stuck their hands up so selection is going to be tough this week. There are a few guys who remained behind and should be fit and ready,” Fleck added.