CAPE TOWN – Stormers coach Robbie Fleck is hoping that the elevated competition in the team will translate into better Super Rugby performances.
Following their 33-28 pre-season win over the Bulls in an exciting Super Hero-themed outing at Cape Town Stadium yesterday, Fleck praised the way his relatively young team stepped up against a near full-strength Bulls outfit.
Last year this time, the Stormers struggled with a lot of injuries, and Fleck believes the depth they currently have - and the competituon within the team in training - should have a positive effect on their Super Rugby efforts.
“It's only healthy for our group that a lot of our players stepped up today. It's good to see that we've built depth. It gives us a lot of energy and confidence knowing we could match them, especially in the first half,” he said.
“It's certainly good for our youngsters, not a lot of them have played against players of that calibre or in front of a crowd of almost 50 000.”
“We've been trying to build this team over the last four years, and this will certainly give us confidence. It was a really great outing for us.”
“The big difference between this year and last year is last year we didn't have do much big competition in the group. This year we do, and it improves our training sessions so much, so hopefully we’ll play better.”
The Stormers did well to capitalise on the opposition's mistakes, especially in the first half, and it's something the Stormers coach says that has been a focus.
“It's something we've been working on,” Fleck said after the game. “In Super Rugby teams tend to play a bit more, so if they make a mistake it makes them quite vulnerable.”
Om their attacking play, Fleck said: “I believe there's still a lot out there in terms of our attack, which is a positive,” Fleck said.
“Our 22-metre attack was also good, and the pleasing aspect is that there are still work-ons.”
Fleck also said the majority of the Springbok players who didn't feature against the Bulls yesterday will come into the squad for their last warm-up game against Boland on Friday.@WynonaLouw