Fleck wants sharper showing

Robbie Fleck admits that the decision-making needs work in the wake of the Stormers’ win against the Jaguares. JON CARDINELLI reports.

The Stormers beat the Jaguares 29-14 in a pre-season match at Newlands on Saturday. Afterwards, Fleck said that he was pleased with his team’s scrummaging against a star-studded Jaguares pack, as well as the hosts’ breakdown performance.

The Stormers coach tempered the praise by stating that the decision-making will need to improve in the lead-up to the Cape side’s first match of the 2016 Super Rugby tournament. The Stormers will face the Bulls on 27 February.

‘We’ve spoken at length about starting well in this year’s tournament,’ Fleck said. ‘We’ve won both of our warm-up games, but there are still some work-ons. We need to make better decisions over the course of the 80 minutes.

‘We’ve worked a lot on our attacking kicks in the pre-season, and we saw that coming off against the Jaguares. It was also pleasing to see the other side of our kicking game: it wasn’t all about relieving the pressure, it was about creating a contest and regathering the ball.

‘However, there were times when we overdid it with those little attacking kicks. The players need to strike a balance between kicking and running.’

Fleck was surprised that the Jagaures kicked so seldom. The Argentinians played with plenty of attacking intent, and put the Stormers defence under pressure. That said, the visitors played most of their rugby in their own territory.

‘They played into our hands a bit,’ said Fleck. ‘Maybe it’s just a case of it being their first game together, and they’re trying to get their game going.

‘Our defence was tested, and I’m pleased that we stood firm. But then with the amount of turnovers we created, we should have done more.’

The talk from the Jaguares after the hit-out at Newlands suggests the team may rethink its all-out attacking game plan before the start of the Super Rugby competition. 

‘We are comfortable with the ball in hand. As Argentina, we showed that at the 2015 World Cup. That is our identity,’ said Pumas and Jaguares loose forward Leonardo Senatore.

‘That is our strength. But I don’t know, maybe the coaches will decide that we need to be more strategic in the Super Rugby competition. We will see what they say.’

The Stormers will trim their squad to 32 players, and announce their captain and leadership group, next week.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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