Fleck welcomes bonus-point change

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck is in favour of the law variations that Sanzaar has introduced for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

The changes will see the try-scoring bonus point only awarded for scoring three or more tries more than an opponent (the bonus point for losing by seven or fewer points remains unchanged), while penalty options after elapsed time now allows teams to still opt for a lineout.

'I understand it’s there to encourage more attacking play and to play for 80 minutes,' Fleck said. 'To land up with three tries ahead, you have to keep working hard so I think it is a good initiative.'

Fleck insisted that the new bonus-point rule would not influence his team’s approach.

'We are going to be sticking to what we have been planning all along. We started something in November and we are going to stick to that regardless of the bonus-point structure. It certainly does encourage the team to play for the full 80 minutes and keep working hard. In order to win games you have got to score tries. That losing bonus point is still there, so that does not change much.'

Fleck said he also saw the less demanding travel schedule as a positive in the new-look competition format.

'Surely the travel side is going to benefit South African teams, we are only travelling for two weeks. Traditionally we have always done well when we arrived and we have sort of dropped off towards the end. It has always been a tough trip for South African sides – the Stormers have traditionally done well – but generally South African teams struggle on that four-week trip, so surely the two-week trip will benefit us. There can’t be a case of fatigue or being homesick or any of that, it is a short trip and it should be a beneficial one.'

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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Craig Lewis