Stormers coach Robbie Fleck says the decision to kick a penalty and grab a draw against the Crusaders was the correct one. DYLAN JACK reports.
The Stormers fought back from a 19-10 deficit to make it 19-16 and were awarded a penalty in the Crusaders’ 22 in the final minute of the match, leaving them the option to go for three points and get a draw or kick to the corner and try and win.
Captain Siya Kolisi ultimately opted to go for poles, with Jean-Luc du Plessis slotting it with ease to allow the home side to come away with two log points.
‘We could have come away with nothing,’ Kolisi said, explaining his decision. ‘I was also hoping that we could kick quickly so that we could get the ball and go again.’
‘That is the best team in the competition for some years now and for us to get something from it is a massive positive,’ Fleck added. ‘It was a very smart decision from Siya at the end there to go for the draw.
‘If we had gone for the corner and lost the ball, we would have been deflated. The way the guys played and the effort they put in there they deserved something out of this game. ‘
Before the match, Fleck had spoken about the game being a defining moment for his team. He repeated the notion following the draw, saying that he was confident the Stormers could make the playoffs.
‘I spoke during the week about it being a Rubicon moment for us for the rest of the campaign. If we can play like this against the best competition in the world then we can beat most teams that come our way. I am very proud of the effort that was put in.
‘We cannot afford to look back, we have to look forward,’ Fleck said. ‘We can only look forward given how we played tonight. If we bring that intensity every week, we will have a good chance of qualifying for the playoffs.’