CAPE TOWN – Stormers coach Robbie Fleck believes Dillyn Leyds is rediscovering the form that made him a Springbok in 2017.
Leyds was sensational in the Stormers’ win over the Rebels in Melbourne last Friday, scoring a spectacular solo try and also putting his teammates into space with a couple of deft passes.
The former Bishops star has often been shifted around the backline between fullback and left-wing, and even been played at flyhalf before, but it seems he has now found his home at No 11.
Crucially, though, the Stormers have actively involved Leyds more in their attacking moves, with his creativity being called in at first-receiver, particularly from second-phase ball. It was one such move that saw Leyds twinkle-toe his way past a couple of defenders before off-loading to Damian de Allende to run through under the posts.
It was not quite like THAT pass against the Chiefs a couple of years ago, but it once again showed what Leyds could offer the Boks.
Set play from a line-out and Dillyn Leyds wriggles through before getting the offload away to Damian de Allende and there is no stopping that steamtrain as he goes over for the third try which takes the lead out to 24-10 with 28 mins left in Melbourne. #REBvSTO #iamastormer— DHL STORMERS (@THESTORMERS) April 12, 2019
“I think with Dill it is all about game time and playing regularly and building that confidence. If you think back two years ago, he was outstanding that’s why he got that Bok call-up. If you remember that Chiefs game and that off-load, I feel that he is finding that sort of form again,” Fleck said at the team’s base camp in Bellville yesterday.
“I felt this tour he was outstanding, when he moved to wing, especially against the Blues, he created a helluva lot of opportunities for us out wide.
“He controlled us effectively in that wide channel and he continued that form against the Rebels when he just pounced on those opportunities. I felt he had an outstanding tour and it is important in the context of our backline.”
Leyds certainly has a way of making the players alongside him look good, too. It was not just the pass to De Allende, but his communication with fullback Damian Willemse is seemingly bringing the best out of the youngster.
Willemse, too, improved in leaps and bounds on the Australasian tour with the 20-year-old adding a great attacking thrust from the back on the counter-attack. He was on Leyds’ shoulder at AAMI Park to pick up a pass that allowed him to send Juarno Augustus over in the wide left-hand corner.
“I am enjoying playing with Dill. He helps me a lot, he is an experienced guy,” Willemse said.
“We have got the players, Dill, Sergeal Petersen, we have got guys that can run the ball that can cause trouble to the defence. I think the way we going at the moment we have a good balance.”@ZaahierAdams