Mental test awaits struggling Stormers

    2017-05-02 11:00

    Cape Town - The Stormers have gone from undefeated in six matches to three straight losses in Super Rugby 2017. 

    Even more concerning is that they have shipped 21 tries in their last three matches, including a whopping 17 tries in the first two matches of their ongoing New Zealand tour. 

    A 57-24 loss to the Crusaders was followed by a 57-14 loss to the Highlanders, and the leaky defence is a major worry for the Capetonians heading into Friday's clash against the Hurricanes in Wellington. 

    The Hurricanes are the most potent attacking side in the competition, having scored 56 tries already in just eight matches. 

    It is a daunting task for coach Robbie Fleck and his Stormers, and while the defensive frailties might stand out as the area in need of the most urgent attention, Fleck believes instead that the mental state of his players is most important. 

    "You come off two losses like this and you have to worry about the emotional state of the team," he said.

    "We've been been trying to be as constructive as possible in our feedback and as honest as possible in our assessments of our players.

    "The players are disappointed and they're hurting, but there's no point in dwelling. We've got a job to do and we've got to get up for this game.

    "The guys are keen to keep fighting hard and they get another opportunity on the weekend."

    "It's tough when you're taking results like we have been in the last two weeks. The biggest challenge for us at the moment is the mental challenge. The guys are really giving everything at the moment and it's just not going our way."

    Fleck acknowledged that the defence was a concern, but he felt that the leaked tries were more a result of mistakes the Stormers were making on attack. 

    "We've started games very well, been able to score tries early and put pressure on and then a simple mistake lets the opposition back in," he said.

    "In the first six games, if we made mistakes we were able to cover up those mistakes and the teams were obviously not good enough to expose us, where over here you make a mistake ... these teams expose you.

    "The stats suggest that we're still up there in terms of attack. But what's really hurt us in the last two games is coughing up possession.

    "It's the decision making in the areas that are hurting us and I guess it's because we're trying to play more rugby. It's all part of our learning ... hopefully by the time we come back to South Africa we'll be a better team for it, on and off the field."

    The Stormers tale on the Hurricanes on Friday, with kick-off at 09:35.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    04 August 2018
    28 July 2018
    21 July 2018
    20 July 2018
    14 July 2018
    13 July 2018
    07 July 2018
    06 July 2018
    30 June 2018
    29 June 2018
    03 June 2018
    02 June 2018
    01 June 2018
    26 May 2018
    25 May 2018
    19 May 2018
    18 May 2018
    12 May 2018
    11 May 2018
    05 May 2018
    04 May 2018
    28 April 2018
    27 April 2018
    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
    • Lions (Q)
    • Jaguares (wc)
    • Sharks (wc)
    • Stormers
    • Bulls

    Opinion Poll

    Who will win the 2018 Rugby Championships?

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

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