Blood on the floor pleases Robbie Fleck
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck was pleased at the sight of players bleeding in the changing room after his team beat the Bulls 29-17 at Newlands on Saturday.
"The Bulls threw everything they had at us‚ and we stood up to that challenge.
“You could see what the game took out of the players. They desperately wanted this. It meant a lot to them.”
The victory lifted the Stormers to 22 log points and although they remain in fourth on the SA Conference and ninth on the overall standings‚ there are only five points from fourth place.
“I’m really proud of the team‚ especially when we were down to 14 men late in the first half (hooker Ramone Samuels was sin-binned)‚” Fleck said.
“Once again we created a lot of opportunities but for the first time this year we put in an 80 minute performance.
“You have to give the Bulls credit for coming back at us‚ and showing good composure‚ but we also showed great composure by striking back immediately after Jason Jenkins scored for them.
“We had to defend heroically at the end‚ which was another step up because we have conceded a lot of tries in the latter stages of games this season.
“We spoke in the week of needing to play for a full 80 minutes‚ and we did. That was very pleasing.
“We have blown hot and cold this year but this victory was a huge boost to our confidence‚ we needed this win and now we can really look forward to the Chiefs’ visit with confidence.”
The Stormers face the Chiefs at Newlands next week in a game they have to win to remain in the play-off race.
After losing six away games earlier this season‚ they cannot afford any slip-ups at home.
Newlands though has become a fortress with five wins in five matches this season while the Stormers under Fleck have won 17 out of 22 at home since 2016.
Fleck warned that the Chiefs would be smarting after losing at home to the Jaguares last Friday and would be desperate to grab an away win to make up for that home loss.
He predicted that the Chiefs have targted the Newlands match for victory after revealing that several key All Blacks would be flying home after the Stormers clash‚ and not continuing with the South African tour.
All Black flank Sam Cane has an abdominal strain and has been ruled out of the tour while lock Brodie Retallick‚ hooker Nathan Harris‚ centre Anton Leinert-Brown and fullback Damien McKenzie have to attend a compulsory All Black camp on May 20.
But they are all set to play against the Stormers.