The Stormers board confirmed on Saturday that they met to discuss whether Robbie Fleck should continue as the coach for the rest of the Super Rugby season, and opted to back the under-fire mentor “to get the results required” to reach the playoffs.
The Cape outfit, who are on a bye this week, are now languishing in last spot in the SA conference following the weekend’s matches, having garnered just 24 points from 11 matches, with five victories and six defeats, including last weekend’s 30-25 loss to the Jaguares in Argentina.
But the Stormers bosses are banking on a winning run at home over the next few weeks to get them into the playoffs, and they believe Fleck is the right man to finish the season.
John Dobson has already been appointed to take over in 2020, and is part of the current coaching group.
The Stormers would’ve been better off making the change at the end of their overseas tour, but chose to keep Fleck in charge.
They host the high-flying Crusaders at Newlands next Saturday (5.15pm kickoff), before facing the Highlanders (home), Lions (away), and Sunwolves and Sharks (both home).
“Rugby is a game of inches and there have been some frustrating results this season from the Stormers where the rub of the green has not gone our way, but we all need to give them our full support as we get closer to the playoffs,” chief executive Paul Zacks said in a statement on Saturday.
“We have seen some inspirational stories in the Uefa Champions League in recent weeks, with both Liverpool and Tottenham producing epic comebacks, which show what is achievable if all stakeholders are aligned.
“There is no reason, with all the quality we have in our playing and coaching group, that the Stormers cannot emulate those performances this season.”
Board chairman Johan van der Merwe added: “We know that we have fantastic players, great coaches and the best supporters in the world.
“The Board of Directors has shown faith in the coaching staff, and with the support of the Newlands Faithful, we can all drive this team to achieve great things this season.”
WP Rugby Union president Zelt Marais called on the Stormers fans to come out to Newlands over the next few weeks.
“I would like to urge everyone to follow the lead of the Board and show why they are known as the Newlands Faithful.
“Let’s all come together and show the world why our fans are known for their passion and loyalty.”@ashfakmohamed