The two teams met in the first Super Rugby match to be played in Hong Kong, and the Sunwolves also recorded their first win over the Stormers, which made it two victories in a row for Jamie Joseph’s side after their 63-28 hammering of the Reds.
In the build-up to the game at the Mong Kok Stadium, Fleck again stressed the importance of winning the game as they continued to hang onto the thinning thread connecting them to a play-off spot. But those talks again resulted in nothing as the Stormers have now lost eight of their 13 games and haven’t won a single game away.
The Sunwolves were the better team on the day, but it was left-footed Kiwi flyhalf Hayden Parker’s right boot that made it official as he slotted a late drop goal to win the game 26-23.
“We’re in it to win every single game, and this does make it tough for us.
“We’re pretty devastated, but we’re going to approach every single game the same way, and that’s to win it,” Fleck said. “We’ve got to win next week (against the Lions) at Newlands and then we’ll reassess after that during the June break.”
Although the Stormers were first to score through a brilliant solo try by Dillyn Leyds, the Sunwolves dominated territory and possession in the opening half, while they also won the territory contest and put the Stormers’ back three – who failed to gather the high ball at times – under pressure with their kicking game.
The hosts looked after the ball better and looked like they actually had a plan on attack (their running was especially great), while the visitors’ attack was nothing to write to Newlands about as they didn’t look organised and wasted too many attacking chances.
The Stormers also produced too many unnecessary kicks with too much disregard for proper execution, and their scrum and line-out drives were just about the only positives in terms of team performance, while Leyds’ try will certainly be up for the Try of the Year award.
Fleck credited the Sunwolves for their triumph, and lamented the mistakes and lack of confidence by his players in difficult conditions (heat and humidity) that, according to him, cost them the game.@WynonaLouw