Fleck laid back about Bok camp in same week
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck was phlegmatic about losing two thirds of his team for a Springbok camp in the week they are preparing for their toughest Super Rugby match of the campaign.
The undefeated Chiefs are next up for the unbeaten Stormers and something has to give at Newlands this weekend.
The Stormers could have done with full training sessions on Monday and yesterday with the key members of their squad‚ but Springbok camps were agreed months ago and Fleck prepared accordingly.
“It’s not ideal but we knew about the camps and have made provisions for it‚” Fleck said.
Fortunately, injury disruptions are minor this week and only scrumhalf Jano Vermaak‚ from last week’s 53-10 win over the Cheetahs‚ will miss the Chiefs match due to concussion.
Dewaldt Duvenage will start and his form has been sensational this year‚ so much so that he was a late call-up to the Bok training camp on Sunday to deputise for Vermaak.
Duvenage’s left-footed boot gives the Stormers a varied kicking game with flyhalf Rob du Preez being right-footed. Fullback SP Marais also has a booming left boot while wing Dillyn Leyds‚ who is more comfortable at fullback‚ can kick off his right.
Although the Stormers have to be tactically smart against the side that beat them 60-21 in last year’s quarterfinal‚ Fleck concedes that overcoming the Chiefs through the boot is not an option.
“You are not going to beat the Chiefs by kicking penalties‚” Fleck said. “You have to score tries.”
That statement might send some purists into a rage‚ thinking that the Stormers will try and run everything‚ from everywhere.
Fleck knows they have to play the percentages too, but he is right in his assessment that beating the Chiefs cannot be done in increments of three points alone.
To beat them, teams have to score some tries.
It sounds obvious but last week the Bulls dominated the Chiefs in terms of territory and possession and on the scoreboard for nearly an hour.
But they could not breach the Chiefs’ defensive line and ended up losing 28-12 with only four Handre Pollard penalties to show for their dominance.
The last time the Chiefs lost a match when a side scored fewer tries than they did was when the Sharks beat them 12-11 in 2015. That day the Chiefs scored the only try of the match in difficult conditions.
Since then, the Chiefs have played 33 matches, losing 10.
In eight of those defeats the opposition scored more tries than they did, while in the other two losses the try count was shared.
What Fleck was getting to was that it is almost inevitable that a team with the attacking nous and technical skill of the Chiefs will score tries, and if you accept that conceding one or two tries is likely‚ then it follows you have to score one or two to match them.