Robbie Fleck, head coach of the Stormers, gives instructions during a training session. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck believes they “responded correctly” to the Chiefs by naming a full-strength side for their Super Rugby clash at Newlands on Saturday (3.05pm kickoff).

At the team announcement, Fleck explained that they did things a bit differently this week in preparation for the battle against the Kiwis after producing a big performance in their win over the Bulls last week. 

The Stormers coach said that instead of having a Monday training session, they got the players “freshened up” outside of their typical rugby environment.

“We’re good, we’re very well prepared. It was a physical and intense game, but we did things differently on Monday,” Fleck said.

“We took the guys out of the rugby environment and sort of freshened up, and I think that helped us this week. We had a good session on Tuesday and then two good session (on Thursday). We’re certainly looking forward to the game. It’s well-documented that the Chiefs have brought their main side for us and we responded correctly this week.”

The Stormers have won all five of their home games this season, but they haven’t been as successful on tour, having lost all six of their matches away from home.

That record makes this match a must-win for the Stormers, and basically so are all their remaining fixtures. And while they have a couple of tough encounters waiting for them, it all starts against the Chiefs, who will be a team on a mission after losing to the Jaguares last week.

“We’re in a situation where we have to win every game, and there’s inspiration in that. We’ve got to deliver our best every week. We’re playing better, but we know we’re going to have to be 10 percent better than we were (against the Bulls) last week," Fleck said.

“It feels like we’re playing a derby game against the Chiefs because this is their fourth game at Newlands in two years.

Fleck has named an unchanged side for the massive contest, and explained that carrying the confidence from the Bulls game into this one is crucial, and so is continuity.

“What was important for this game was building on the confidence after the Bulls game, and to get a bit of continuity by naming an unchanged side,” he said.

One of the big areas in Saturday's game will be the breakdown - an area that is always important, but even more so if you’re going up against a New Zealand team.

It’s also an area that Fleck believes the Stormers have made a lot of progress in: “I think we’ve made big strides in our breakdown this year. It’s always a challenge, not only against the Chiefs, but against all New Zealand sides. So our breakdown has to be spot on. It’s been a major focus for us.”

Cape Times

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