Vodacom Stormers assistant coach Robbie Fleck says his side still wants to play an attacking game, but the challenge in the Vodacom Super 14 match against the Waratahs at Newlands will be to compete physically.
The Stormers beat the Lions last Saturday in Johannesburg in their opening fixture and will be in action in front of their home supporters this time around.
Fleck said the Stormres are concentrating on what they want to do and nothing’s changed in terms of their approach. “We definitely still want to play the attacking rugby that we started in the first half against the Lions.
“The Waratahs are a quality outfit and they’ve been to the semi-finals over the years. They are a very physical side and we need to match that, not only from the set piece point of view, and attacking them at source, but from a backline point of view too.
“They’ve got quality decision-makers in terms of Berrick Barnes and Kurtley Beale. These guys can definitely make things happen, so we’ll have to be on top of our game because the game will be played at a different level compared to what it was last week. So we’ll have to front up for that.”
Fleck was impressed with the performance of Waratahs scrumhalf Luke Burgess against the Reds. “Burgess was really dangerous over the weekend and he really swung the game for the Waratahs when the Reds were dominating. In our view, there was lots of space around the edges and he exposed that space.
“So it’s definitely something that we’ve taken note of. We have to watch him because he’s a quality player, but for us the real brains are the 9-10-12 combination with the likes of Palu and Polota-Nau running hard onto the ball. They’re a well-rounded side so we have to really be sharp.”
Fleck expects a good, competitive game between to similar sides. “These two sides are very similar in terms of the way they want to play the game. Both have strong kicking games and we are sort of quite structured and system driven and when it’s on we play rugby.
“We’ve taken cognisance of the fact that Mitchell is there and he’s a bail out on the left hand side for them and the good kicking game comes from the likes of Barnes and Beale. But again, we need to really focus on what our game is all about. In the past we’ve maybe focused too much on the opposition and that’s one of the things we’ve really changed this weekend.”
Fleck confirmed that Stormers prop Wicus Blaauw will not be considered for the Waratahs game after sustaining a shoulder injury against the Lions. “My understanding is that he’s going to be out for two weeks or so.
“He’s taken quite a knock to his shoulder and hopefully he’ll be ready in a week, but he’s definitely out for this weekend.”