Robbie Fleck is confident that they have the right personnel to take team back to the top. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck is confident that they've got the right players and management to "take the franchise back to the top".

The Stormers' Super Rugby season might have ended sooner that they would have liked, but Fleck says that they have to start working towards next year and that motivation they'll draw from their playing and coaching personnel.

"We've got to put plans in place for 2019 and we're obviously not happy with where we are, but there was a huge amount of lessons learnt and we believe we've got the squad and the management to take this franchise back to the top. And that'll be our motivation for next year."

At Newlands at the weekend, the Stormers produced a pleasing end to their 2018 season with a 27-16 win over the Sharks. 

In the build-up to the game, Fleck said that they would play for pride, and that victory should surely help in terms of that motivation as they prepare for the 2019 competition.

In Saturday's game, the Stormers scored three tries to the Sharks' one, with two of the Stormers' five-pointers especially pleasing as one was scored from the counter attack after halg-centurion Dillyn Leyds created some magic and the other after a stunning spell of attacking play after Damian de Allende spotted and accelerated into the gap before offloading to Cobus Wiese to score.

The Sharks, on the other hand, were their own worst enemies. 

The fixture against the Stormers was a must-win to secure a play-off spot. And although they still have a mathematical chance, it will no doubt be a tough one against the Jaguares in Durban next week.

Robert du Preez's men made a number of mistakes and also slipped too many tackles, but after a relatively flat first half, they looked better in the second.

After the match, Fleck credited his team for their fighting spirit that allowed them to get the win against a Sharks team that played with more intent after the break.

"It was nice to finish off on a high note," Fleck said.

"Our season is well-documented. We showed a lot of promise building up to a good lead at half time and the Sharks played a little bit better in the second half."

"The boys showed good character and good fight. And towards the end of the game we grew stronger again. For the first time this season luck was on our side."

The Stormers have often started well this season only to fade after half time. So it was of course important to make an 80-minute performance the goal seeing that they were keen on salvaging some pride.

And it was an effort the Stormers mentor is pleased with.

"The first half showed what this team is capable of doing. We'll look back at it and regret losing against the Waratahs and the Sunwolves, and that Lions game (could have won)."

"I'm immensely proud of the boys."

"Our execution and our finishing has let us down this year. It was good against the Sharks, especially in that first half."

"We'll start our review the week after next, that should take one or two weeks and we'll see what happens."


IOL Sport

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