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Hard work ahead for DHL Stormers

PUBLISHED: May 15, 2016



Following a disappointing performance against the Sunwolves in Singapore, the DHL Stormers are determined to turn things around on their return to South Africa.

Following a disappointing performance against the Sunwolves in Singapore, the DHL Stormers are determined to turn things around on their return to South Africa.

Despite showing good character and composure to score a last-minute try which salvaged a draw against the Japanese side, Head Coach Robbie Fleck was far from satisfied with his team’s performance.

“We are very disappointed with our performance, it wasn’t what we are about. We did well to get the two points at the end for a draw, but we certainly didn’t deserve it.

“We were flat and just made too many errors, we tactically got it wrong in the first half and the guys played too much rugby.

“We were too loose and lost all form of shape and structure, we had a dominant set-piece but did not use it to full effect.

“It was a tough game to review, what we did in the second half was a little bit better, but there were still errors which stopped all form of continuity,” he said.

Fleck refused to make any excuses for his team’s lacklustre display in Singapore, and admitted that they were far below the standards they set for themselves.

“We weren’t good from a mental, tactical and physical point of view, we are not an arrogant team so it was not complacency because we are a humble side and we work incredibly hard.

“We were a bit flat, but I am certainly not going to use travel as an excuse.

“We weren’t in control, we were just too loose. The list is pretty long in terms of what went wrong, it was just one of those games where we didn’t connect as a team,” he said.

Fleck did take some encouragement from the way his side managed to fight their way back, which showed some good character.

“The Sunwolves were playing really well and putting us under pressure, and things weren’t going our way so it was going to be a test of the team’s character in terms of their maturity and how they react.

“The fact that we could score that try with two minutes to go to come from 10 metres from our own tryline was satisfying that they showed the composure, guts and resilience to fight all the way and eventually get that try,” he said.

With two crucial games against the Vodacom Bulls and Toyota Cheetahs before the June international break, Fleck knows that his side will have to turn things around quickly.

“It is important that I back the players in the squad and get them back on track. It was a bad day at the office for everyone and we will be far better for it against the Bulls.

“There were some individuals who put their hands up and we probably are a little bit clearer in where we want to go in terms of selection. Obviously we are competing against the guys in our conference so it is a massive game for us,” he said.

The only new injury concern surrounds loosehead prop JC Janse van Rensburg who injured his knee, while lock Eben Etzebeth is expected to return to the fold this week.

“It is not looking good for JC, he is going to go for some scans, he may have an MCL (medial cruciate ligament) which will be confirmed back in Cape Town, but the initial view on it is not good.

“Eben Etzebeth has been training back at home and he will join us at training on Tuesday,” Fleck added.