CAPE TOWN – Stormers coach Robbie Fleck wants to see his team back-up their impressive win against the Blues with an improved performance against the Reds at Newlands next weekend.
Fleck’s charges ran in four tries in front of the Newlands faithful on Saturday to get back to winning ways with a convincing 37-20 victory against the Auckland side.
It had been a demanding week, with many players and members of the management team sidelined with a flu virus that was originally picked up the week before in Dunedin.
The character shown under pressure was heartening for Fleck, who has set his sights on raising their standards even further against the Reds.
“It was a challenging week in many respects, and for us to deliver a performance like that after the tour makes us very happy.
“We are certainly not there yet, there is still lots for us to do and as a group, we acknowledge that.
“The next challenge for us is to put in another performance like that next week.
“It is great to see that we can respond in this way – certainly the first half, it was a good performance from us. We need to learn to play like that for 80 minutes now and every weekend,” he said.
The Stormers were clinical in the opening 40 minutes against the Blues, scoring three unanswered tries to take a commanding 17-3 lead into the halftime break.
Fleck said that the focus now will be building on that display and taking their game to another level as the season progresses.
“We were very happy with that first-half performance. I think we lost our way a little bit in the second half in terms of our work-rate and intensity, but that was to be expected because it was a challenging week, with so many of the guys being sick.
“We can take a lot of confidence from this and we can build from this, it is pretty exciting if we do get it right consistently,” he said.
The Stormers coach paid tribute to the senior players in the team, who stood up to be counted when it mattered most.
“Under the circumstances, I felt that our senior playing group and our Springboks delivered. Siya (Kolisi), Pieter-Steph (du Toit), Damian (de Allende) stepped up to the plate and delivered,” he said.
Captain Kolisi said that there was no lack of motivation after a demanding tour of Australasia.
“We just wanted to play. I have been sitting the whole week ready for this game since we got on the plane coming back home,” he said.
“We prepared well during the week, the coach didn’t change a lot. He has been positive through the tough times, which makes it so much easier for us as players.
“All we had to do was focus on ourselves and make sure that we were ready.
#DHLStormers skills coach Paul Feeney having a yarn with @LandRoverZA ambassador King Carlos Spencer at #DHLNewlands ahead of kick-off against @BluesRugbyTeam. #iamastormer #WeStandTogether #rat #KingCarlos #blueslegends #AboveAndBeyond pic.twitter.com/StnKqNIQSp
“He could have panicked when half of the team wasn’t training, but he didn’t, and the players did everything they could to get things right.
“As a captain, it was one of the best games I have ever felt.
“I didn’t have to do much. Everyone was concentrating on their roles, so I didn’t have to talk much.”
African News Agency (ANA)