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    Fleck: We're not trying to copy Kiwi teams

    2017-05-18 14:44

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck denies that his side is trying to emulate a New Zealand brand of rugby in 2017. 

    The Stormers have continued on a journey which started last year when Fleck, in his first season in charge, placed an immediate focus on developing his side's skill set and ball-in-hand approach to rugby. 

    It has proved a rocky trip, and while the Stormers have looked extremely attractive on attack at times, they have also come unstuck defensively in this competition. 

    The Stormers conceded 24 tries in three matches of their New Zealand tour against the Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes.

    The Stormers feel like, despite the results on their tour, they are closing the gap on the Kiwi sides and their win over the Chiefs at Newlands this season is a reminder of what they can achieve when they get it right. 

    But when asked if felt the Stormers were closing the gap on the New Zealand teams, Blues forwards coach Steve Jackson suggested that South African teams should focus on themselves rather than trying to play like Kiwi teams.

    According to Jackson, South African sides should stick to their traditional strengths of utilising their big forwards to get go-forward ball. 

    Fleck, though, believes the Stormers are on their own path and that they are not basing their game on anyone else. 

    "We have our own game plan and our own vision of where we want to go," Fleck told Sport24

    "We are not trying to play like the Lions or the Chiefs or anybody ... we will do what we think is best for us and that is the direction we're moving in."

    The Stormers blue print may appear to be 'attack at all costs' at the moment with the increased emphasis on running rugby and executing offloads, but Fleck says the fundamentals are still centred around the pack. 

    "It is no secret that we have focused on our attacking game this season and that is something that we obviously need to keep developing," he said.

    "But I don't think we have veered too far from our traditional strengths of using our physical forwards and our set piece providing us with that platform.

    "We are on our own path and we have faith in what we're trying to do here."

    The Stormers take on the Blues at Newlands on Friday in what will be their last taste of New Zealand opposition before the quarter-finals when they will almost certainly host a Kiwi side at Newlands. 

    Kick-off is at 19:00.

    Teams:

    Stormers

    15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble

    Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Damian de Allende

    Blues

    15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi

    Substitutes: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Michael Collins

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