CAPE TOWN - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck says he is “really disappointed” in his side’s performance in their 22-10 defeat to the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday.
It was the fact that the Stormers didn’t capitalise on their scoring opportunities that upset Fleck the most, and understandably so, because it happened a number of times.
The Stormers were guilty of handling errors probably forced by pressure that came with the Sharks’ solid defence, while their poor decision-making was also a culprit.
The visitors came very close to scoring on a number of occasions, but they only managed to finish once, while the other times resulted in turnover ball for the Sharks.
There was also an especially frustrating period late in the game by the Stormers, where they threatened to score three times. But yet again, their momentum was killed by poor option-taking and even poorer handling.
“I’m just really disappointed in our performance. We had our chances but we just kept on making mistakes,” Fleck said.
“I felt that we had them under the pump at times. When we were on their line they defended well, and I think we were really stupid. We took the wrong options when we were threatening their line. It’s something that we’ll work on,” Fleck said.
“We got off to a slow start and we just made too many mistakes, so there were soft tries that got them that lead. I felt that we were dominant after the slow start and going into the change room and we were all over them. But again, there was another soft try that we gave away.”
Like Fleck said, there were times when the Stormers were dominant – especially that 10-minute period early in the second half – but Man-of-the-Match S’busiso Nkosi’s ridiculously easy run past two defenders from the back of a lineout put a spanner in the Stormers’ works.
There were also a few poor tactical kicks by the Stormers, and another area that Fleck should be very disappointed in is his side’s lineout work.
The Stormers did very well in the set-piece against the Blues and it’s been one of their strongest areas this whole season, but in Durban the Stormers were outperformed whenever the forwards lined up, as the Sharks’ own lineout was outstanding, while their contesting was also great.
And Fleck lamented the fact that the Stormers failed to turn their chances into points.
“I felt we were working our way into the game again nicely, but it was just those soft moments. It’s not a fancy move that they scored from with Nkosi, that’s a straight one-on-one tackle that was missed. There was nothing fancy about what they did,” Fleck said.
Although the Stormers are, as things stand now, the third South African team to qualify for the play-offs along with the Lions and the Sharks, Fleck made it clear that his team “haven’t qualified yet” and that they still had three games to go.
“It was important that we won this game. We just came off a tough tour and we had a good win over the Blues. For us it was important to win, it had nothing to do with the log points or anything. We haven’t qualified yet, there’s still three games to go. So we’re not thinking about what the Bulls and the Cheetahs are doing,” he said.
“We’re focused on us , We’re not proud of our performance.”