Fleck: We're focusing on us
Cape Town - If the Stormers are to finish second on the combined Super Rugby log and secure a home semi-final, they will have to beat the Sharks on Saturday while the Brumbies and the Waratahs lose to the Crusaders and the Reds respectively.
By the time the Stormers play (19:10) they will know those two results, and in all likelihood they will learn that third place and a home quarter-final awaits regardless of what happens in Durban. But, according to backline coach Robbie Fleck, nobody is thinking about anything other than beating their old foes.
"It’s pretty easy. We want to finish off on a good note. We want to go out there and play some good rugby and obviously go out there to win," said Fleck.
"The results can go either way during the course of the weekend. There’s still that glimmer of hope that the Waratahs and the Brumbies fall short and then we’ve got a great opportunity of getting a home semi-final.
"We want to get the win. Whatever happens outside of that is out of our hands. There’s a lot of energy in the camp, there’s a big focus to go out there and perform well."
The Stormers will announce their side on Thursday, and they are expected to rest a host of their regular names. This will give some of the fringe players a crack, as well as some players who have made a full recovery from injury like Jaco Taute, Michael Rhodes and Kobus van Wyk.
Fleck insists that these players are not just making up numbers while the Springboks and other big names put their feet up, and he has urged those who start this weekend to use the opportunity to put their hands up for selection in the playoffs squad.
"Everyone is fighting for a starting position. By no means is our team selected now coming into the playoffs," said the former Bok centre.
"We want that competitive edge within the squad; we don’t want people to be complacent in their positions."
Turning his attention to the Sharks, Fleck was anticipating a massive challenge fuelled by the King’s Park farewells of Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis and Willem Alberts.
"I expect a brutal game, to be honest," said Fleck.
"There’s always been a competitive edge between us and the Sharks; it’s a massive game.
"There will be a lot of emotion because some people are leaving and they’ve got to get the respect back from the fans. They’ll be totally up for this game."