Stormers management presents united front

    2018-04-23 18:17

    Lloyd Burnard

    Cape Town - The Stormers have reached a new low this Super Rugby season after their 24-17 loss to the Sharks in Durban on Saturday saw them slip to the bottom of the South African Conference. 

    It is unfamiliar territory for the Capetonians, who under former coach Allister Coetzee won three five-team SA Conferences in five years. 

    The play-offs are still a possibility for Robbie Fleck's men, but the coach has conceded that, after Saturday, winning the Conference is out of the question.

    While they have shown glimpses of getting it right this season, the Stormers have ultimately been their own worst enemies with soft individual errors on both defence and attack plaguing their efforts. 

    Fleck spoke about those individual errors after his latest loss in Durban, and on Monday back in Cape Town, Stormers assistant coach Paul Treu felt the need to squash rumours that there was confusion in the Stormers management. 

    Treu was responding to suggestions that the complicated titles surrounding the Stormers coaching staff had blurred the lines between their responsibilities. 

    Treu, for example, moved at the start of the season from defence coach in 2017 to defence and attack coach on first phase in 2018. 

    Paul Feeney, meanwhile, saw his title change from skills coach to defence and attack specialist beyond third phase. 

    Treu, though, took exception to suggestions that the coaching staff found themselves on different pages. 

    "When things are not going well, everyone always wants to blame something," he told media at the side's Bellville training complex.

    "I want to put it out there ... there is no split or uncertainty in terms of our role as management.

    "We are as united in speaking from one voice as we can be. There is no uncertainty when it comes to what my role is, what Paul Feeney's role is our what any of the other coaches' role is.

    "We have done it in a certain way for us to interact as coaches better. It doesn't matter what titles we have ... we work together as a management team. There is no division.

    "There are a lot of people on social media and in the media speculating about why it's not working.  I can tell you now that is the least of our concerns at the moment."

    Treu added that it had been a tough few days since the Sharks loss, but that team meetings had left the side clear on the way forward.

    "We're all disappointed with where we are at the moment and it is going to be a tough battle," he said.

    "Sometimes you have to realise that this is reality. This is where we are and now we have to turn it around.

    "We can't fault our players on the effort they bring to every game and practice."

    The Stormers now face a must-win assignment when they host the Rebels at Newlands on Friday. Kick-off is at 15:05.


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