LIVE

    Stormers have nothing to fear

    2016-07-19 15:30

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - After all of the hype surrounding the Lions and their quest to finish top of the overall log in Super Rugby this season, Johan Ackermann's men ended up just a single point ahead of the Stormers. 

    While the Lions went to Buenos Aires and picked up nothing against the Jaguares on the final weekend, the Stormers cruised to a bonus-point win - their third in as many weeks - against the Kings to ensure that they ended the regular season on 51 points to the Lions' 52. 

    It is, of course, hard to compare the Lions and the Stormers with the Capetonians having avoided all of the New Zealand sides. 

    That will change this weekend, though, when the Stormers take on the Chiefs at Newlands in the quarter-finals. 

    Fleck, speaking to media on Monday, said he did not want to read too much into the fact that his side had not encountered Kiwi opposition this year. 

    "I think that we’re an improving side, regardless of who we play against," Fleck said.

    "We deserve to be up there. We’ve had our fair share of injuries … we’ve fought our way through. We had to get 15 points in the last three games and we were on tour as well so I think it’s massive credit to this team and the way we’re going at the moment.

    The Stormers had their moments. 

    Were it not for a last-minute defeat to the Waratahs on April 30 and a shocking 17-17 draw with the Sunwolves in Singapore the following week, they could well have toppled the Lions and perhaps the Hurricanes too.

    "There is always this debate about us not playing any New Zealand sides … I didn’t decide that and the players didn’t decide on that group," added Fleck.

    "It is what it is and we’ve done exceptionally well to get here. We were one scrum away in the Waratahs game from landing top of the whole log, or a bonus-point win in Singapore.

    "It’s a fine line. At one stage we were in trouble and the next thing you know we’ve done exceptionally well to get to just one point behind the Lions and two points behind the guys who topped the overall group."

    Turning his attention to the Chiefs, Fleck encouraged his players to approach the game with the same fearless attitude they had vowed to make a part of their DNA at the start of the season. 

    "Obviously there’s this aura around the New Zealand sides at the moment and they’re playing at an intensity that is quite impressive and 80 minutes long," said Fleck.

    "But I certainly believe this side of ours can match that intensity and I believe that all South African teams have the skill set to match theirs and we mustn’t believe the hype too much about these teams.

    "At the end of the day, like Schalk (Burger) said, they’ve still got two arms and two legs and we’ve got the ability to beat these sides.

    "We’ve got huge belief within our squad. If we get the right gameplan and the players buy into that and we prep really well during the week then I believe that any South African side can beat a New Zealand side."

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Breaking News

    Fixtures

    Friday, 21 June 2019
    • Crusaders v Highlanders, Christchurch Stadium 09:35
    Saturday, 22 June 2019
    • Jaguares v Chiefs, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 00:05
    • Hurricanes v Bulls, Westpac Stadium 09:35
    • Brumbies v Sharks, GIO Stadium 12:05
    Friday, 28 June 2019
    • TBC v TBC, TBC 14:00

    Results

    15 June 2019
    14 June 2019
    08 June 2019
    07 June 2019
    01 June 2019
    31 May 2019
    25 May 2019
    24 May 2019
    18 May 2019
    17 May 2019
    12 May 2019
    11 May 2019
    10 May 2019
    04 May 2019
    03 May 2019
    27 April 2019
    26 April 2019
    20 April 2019
    19 April 2019
    13 April 2019
    12 April 2019
    06 April 2019
    05 April 2019
    30 March 2019
    29 March 2019
    24 March 2019
    23 March 2019
    22 March 2019
    16 March 2019
    15 March 2019
    09 March 2019
    08 March 2019
    02 March 2019
    01 March 2019
    23 February 2019
    22 February 2019
    16 February 2019
    15 February 2019

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts
    • Jaguares (Q)
    • Bulls (wc)
    • Sharks (wc)
    • Lions
    • Stormers

    Opinion Poll

    Which Super Rugby quarter-final are you most looking forward to?

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

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