Fleck: No issues with Etzebeth discipline

    2017-05-22 07:04

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - On Friday night at Newlands, Stormers and Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth further enhanced his reputation as a man who doesn't mind a bit of off-the-ball action. 

    With 20 minutes played against the Blues, the Stormers gave away a penalty on their own line for a high tackle. 

    The Blues weren't chuffed, and Etzebeth got stuck in, giving Akira Ioane a solid shove to the chest. 

    What followed was a proper game of rugby handbags - not an uncommon sight and something that, if we're all honest, we quite enjoy. 

    But the replays showed that Etzebeth had raised a hand to Ioane's face, and he was off for 10 minutes. 

    The Blues scored from the resulting penalty and then had a second try with Etzebeth off the field, making it a costly card. 

    But coach Robbie Fleck, speaking after the game, said it was a "tough" situation for Etzebeth, with so much going on in the scuffle. 

    "It’s tough ... everyone is having a go there. Both teams were certainly up for it," said Fleck.

    "You push someone in the face and it is a yellow card ... that’s the law. There was a lot of pushing and shoving in people’s faces ... it’s hard to defend yourself. It is a yellow card and it put us under pressure.

    "That’s rugby. It’s great to see that both teams are at it and I think there’s healthy respect there. You could see that when it broke up."

    The Blues are a side with a lot of attacking flair, but on Friday they stood up to the Stormers physically as well.

    "I think they knew that we were going to challenge them physically and they were up for it and so were we," said Fleck.

    "That little incident on the line showed that they were in for it and so were we. We matched them. They’re a big side and they’ve got some big x-factor players and I felt that we nullified that."

    The Blues also spent time with 14 men with wing Mutt Duffie first shown a yellow card for offside and then a second yellow and red for diving illegally on Cheslin Kolbe. 

    Fleck was concerned with how his side struggled to capitalise on having an extra man.

    "We didn’t convert when they had a yellow card which is something we have to work on. We have to understand that they’re a number down in the backline and we kept trying to hammer away at them up front where we should have let the ball go," said Fleck.

    "I felt that they were smarter than us when it came to the yellow card and they were more effective."

    Blues skipper James Parsons denied that it was part of the plan to target Etzebeth's discipline. 

    "It wasn’t the plan at all. If you attack one of our brothers, we’re all going to jump in and it’s as simple as that," he said.

    "It’s a team philosophy. It was war out there … that’s what it felt like at times."

    The Stormers are next in action when they visit the Sharks on Saturday while the Blues host the Chiefs on Friday.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    Friday, 27 April 2018
    • Hurricanes v Sunwolves, Westpac Stadium 09:35
    • Stormers v Rebels, Cape Town 15:05
    Saturday, 28 April 2018
    • Reds v Lions, Suncorp Stadium 07:05
    • Blues v Jaguares, Eden Park 09:35
    • Brumbies v Crusaders, GIO Stadium 11:45
    • Bulls v Highlanders, Loftus Versfeld 17:15
    Friday, 04 May 2018
    • Chiefs v Jaguares, Rotorua International Stadium 09:35
    • Rebels v Crusaders, AAMI Park 11:45


    22 April 2018
    21 April 2018
    20 April 2018
    14 April 2018
    13 April 2018
    07 April 2018
    06 April 2018
    01 April 2018
    31 March 2018
    30 March 2018
    24 March 2018
    23 March 2018
    18 March 2018
    17 March 2018
    16 March 2018
    10 March 2018
    09 March 2018
    03 March 2018
    02 March 2018
    24 February 2018
    23 February 2018
    17 February 2018


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Who will finish top of the SA Conference in this year's Super Rugby tournament?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.