Fleck hails Stormers' character, belief after Lions thriller

    2019-02-24 15:23

    Cape Town - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has praised his side's character after their stunning 19-17 Super Rugby win over the Lions on Saturday. 

    14-6 down at half-time, the Stormers looked like they were on their way to a second defeat in as many weeks following the 40-3 hammering they took at Loftus against the Bulls in round one.

    Instead, the hosts stayed in the game in the second half and kicked two more penalties before a Herschel Jantjies try in the 84th minute secured a much-needed win for Fleck and his charges. 

    Speaking after the match, Fleck lauded his side and skipper Siya Kolisi, in particular. 

    "I felt that Siya was smart in his decisions when we did get those penalties, just to stay in the game and kick the points," Fleck said.

    Turning his attention to the end of the match, Fleck said there was always a belief that the Stormers could get the job done.

    "That was immense character but we still had to play and retain possession. There had to be leadership on the field to make the right decision to go back for the scrum and have a pop there. The boys were really on-point there," he said.

    "‘It was a completely different team in those last 15 minutes when there was pressure to win.

    "The immense character from the group to keep fighting, while still making the right decisions and being calm and collected, shows that we can, when we are on the same page, beat some of the better teams.

    "It was emotional in the shed afterwards and rightly so ... it was a tough week."

    The Stormers are next in action when they take on the Sharks in Durban on Saturday while the Lions host the Bulls at Ellis Park.

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