Fleck calls for defensive improvement

    2017-07-19 11:32

    Cape Town - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck is happy with his side's attack but says they will need to tighten up their defence ahead of the playoffs.

    Fleck's side host the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday in the Super Rugby quarter-finals in a repeat of the Round Six fixture earlier in the season in which the Stormers won 34-26 (also at home). 

    But, in last year's repeat fixture, also at the quarter-final stage, the Chiefs dealt out a 60-21 hammering.. 

    The Stormers conceded too many tries that day, something they have been guilty of too often this season. The Cape side have leaked 61 tries in 2017, a great deal more than the 28 they let in at the same stage last season. 

    However, that glaring difference is largely due to the fact that last year they did not have to contend with any New Zealand teams prior to the playoffs. 

    In five games this year against Kiwi opposition, the Stormers conceded 30 tries - an average of six per game and almost half their tally for the year. 

    While they have been proficient on attack, accumulating 64 tries in 15 matches, Fleck knows they will need to sharpen up their defensive effort ahead of the crucial quarter-final clash on the weekend. 

    "We were happy with our tempo and intensity against the Bulls [the Stormers won 41-33 at Loftus last Saturday]‚ which were two of the goals we wanted to achieve in the game‚" coach Robbie Fleck told Business Day

    "We purposely didn’t kick out because we wanted a high number of minutes with the ball in play and we wanted to constantly be in the game and put them under pressure with their fitness. 

    "We also wanted to get our physicality right and we certainly did that. But individual errors let us down and that allowed the Bulls to stay in the game and get back at us," Fleck said. 

    "That is an area we have to address because we leaked some soft tries. We can’t give Kiwi teams time and space so we will have to get off the line quickly and shut them down."

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