CAPE TOWN – It has been a long three weeks for the Stormers, but they have one final opportunity to rescue something from their tour of Australasia tomorrow then face the in-form Rebels in Melbourne.
The Stormers, after a positive start to the season bar the opener at Loftus, have somewhat lost their way in New Zealand and Australia.
A host of injuries have further increased the pressure on a team struggling with its execution, while equally they seem undecided on how exactly they want to play.
They have moved from a forward-based game plan to shifting the ball to the wide channels with only a losing bonus point against the Hurricanes in their tour opener to show for their troubles so far.
The Rebels, meanwhile, are running like a steam train forging ahead through their exciting and hard-running backs who have powered them to the top of the Australian conference.
So, how exactly are Robbie Fleck’s charges going to approach the clash at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium?
“When we had that number one starting pack with all the Springboks, it was obviously a strength. Certainly the way we played against the Hurricanes, there was (a) specific reason why we played like that.
“We wanted to target them upfront. We had pretty much the same pack against the Blues, and we played it differently against the Blues because that’s what was required.
“In terms of the way we play the game, we look at that each week,” Fleck said from Melbourne.
“In terms of this young pack, it has completely different strengths to the pack against the Hurricanes. This is a young, dynamic pack, and we are very excited about them putting a performance against a very well organised Rebels pack.
“If that means we kick the ball more, or a ball-in-hand approach, that will have to be seen on Friday.”
Fleck has once again been forced to make a host of changes – six this week – due to injuries and further external factors, with the most notable seeing loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff being entrusted with the leadership duties in the absence of regular captain Siya Kolisi.