CAPE TOWN – Considering all the trouble in the Newlands boardrooms over the past few weeks, the Stormers hapless performance in their Super Rugby opener at Loftus should almost have been expected.
There is no way any team - professional or not - can continue to operate in a bubble when their world is being torn to shreds around them. From corridor gossip to media reports, they simply cannot isolate themselves from the fact that everyone is not pulling in the same direction.
Full marks, though, to coach Robbie Fleck. He promised at the beginning of his fourth - and most likely final - season at the helm of the Stormers that there will be “no more excuses”. And he certainly wasn’t going to fall back on the off-field problems to justify his team’s limp performance.
“I am going to say no to that (off-field drama affecting the team) because we are a tight-knit group and we are not going to worry about what is happening off the field,” he said. “We can have a built-in excuse system for everything that is going on, but we are certainly not going to do that.
“It was an off-day but we will pick up the pieces and go back to work on Monday because the season is still long. We have to look after ourselves and focus on what we have to do.”