Stormers head to Argentina with confidence

28 April 2019 - 14:30 By Craig Ray
Manie Libbok of the Vodacom Bulls during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls at DHL Newlands on April 27, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Manie Libbok of the Vodacom Bulls during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls at DHL Newlands on April 27, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

The Stormers head to Argentina to face the Jaguares next weekend with more belief and confidence after last Saturday’s 24-23 win over the Bulls at Newlands.

The timely victory moved the Stormers to 23 log points after 10 games‚ just three behind the Sharks who head the conference‚ while the Bulls have 24 points from nine matches.

The Jaguares also have 23 points from nine matches‚ which makes the clash against the Stormers a vital one in terms of the log battle for all the teams in the conference. Even the Lions‚ who prop up the conference‚ are in the battle with 22 points from their 10 games.

The Stormers were good value for their win at the weekend despite the tight margin. The Bulls scored after the hooter to narrow the deficit to one point.

“Small margins have gone against us this season but fortunately today we scored three good tries‚” Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said.

“This win over the Bulls was important to keep us going. It was a funny feeling in the changeroom. The boys were happy with the win but there was a feeling there is a lot more to come.

“We go to Argentina to play the Jaguares with some confidence now because there was enough in our performance to get us excited. We have eased the pressure slightly.

“The Jaguares are going to be difficult in Argentina and there will be a very vocal crowd there.

“They have a lot more energy at home‚ they’re physical‚ they are emotional there‚ and they feed off the crowd.”

The Stormers thumbed the Jaguares 35-8 at Newlands earlier in the tournament and they will look to the lessons of that match to find a way to undo the Argentines again.

Fleck will also assess the fitness of his squad before naming it‚ but he is expected to take a full strength team considering the Stormers have a bye the week after the Buenos Aires showdown.

“I need to chat to the players and see who is fit‚” Fleck said.

“The bulk of this team is going to Buenos Aires‚ but we have a bye the week after so we can go all out.

“We have to do our homework and see what worked at Newlands. It will be a big challenge for us‚ but we have to view it as just another field and a blade of grass.”

Captain Siya Kolisi said the team was also feeling more confident after their success against the Bulls.

“The message was simple this week before the Bulls game – ‘do whatever it takes to win’‚” Kolisi said.

“That’s what we focused on. The coach just asked to respect the ball in the 22‚ and also to play with freedom‚ which is why we gave the ball some air.

“The toughest part for us this year has been our lack of execution. We were better this week although we did let them back into the game at stages.

“Our execution against the Bulls was a step in the right direction. We won’t change the way we play against the Jaguares but we will take the opposition’s defence into account and make the appropriate tweaks.”

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