Fleck defends Stormers penalty decisions
Cape Town - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has defended his team's decisions to turn down several kickable penalties in their defeat to the Brumbies at Newlands on Saturday.
The hosts dominated territory and possession and received numerous chances to kick for goal but opted to go for tries instead.
In the end, despite living off scraps, the Brumbies outscored the Stormers three tries to two in a 19-17 victory.
At the post-match press conference, Fleck said he backed his team’s decisions.
“That is a decision for which I will always back the captain. The players felt they had an opportunity there. We were 12-0 down (in the first half) so we took the lineout. I can understand the decision to go for the try in that regard.
“We came close. In hindsight, maybe (should have kicked for goal), but the players felt it was the right call and I will back that," he said.
After turning down several kickable penalties, the Stormers did go for posts towards the end of the game but flyhalf Josh Stander missed a relatively simple attempt.
Fleck continued: “At the end of the game we went for the points, but Josh missed that one opportunity. There was another penalty from a maul, which was probably tough to kick.
“So again, I back the decision to go for the touchline, because we had just got two or three maul penalties in a row. That following maul was sacked two or three metres short and we did not get the penalty. We will always back the decision made on the field.”
Stormers skipper Steven Kitshoff also defended his decisions to repeatedly opt for set-pieces.
"I believed we could score tries from the set-pieces and that influenced my decision making. We spent so much time inside their 22 and would have won had the chances been taken.
"The outcome hinged on execution. The Brumbies took the few chances they had and we scored less points from far more opportunities,” he said.
A losing bonus point lifted the Cape Town side one place on the combined standings to 10th, while they lie bottom of the South African conference.
The Brumbies rose three places overall to 11th and are third in the Australian section, five points behind leaders the Melbourne Rebels.
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