Home Sport Fleck full of praise for fallen Stormers’ spirit

Fleck full of praise for fallen Stormers’ spirit

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As much as Fleck was pleased with the effort, he also lamented his charges’ discipline, although he didn’t agree with all Bryant’s calls.

Photo: CHRIS RICCO/BACKPAGEPIX

If the Stormers’ consistency throughout the season had been as good the character they showed against the Lions, it would have been a very different Super Rugby season for Robbie Fleck and his team.

The Stormers have looked really good at times this season but they haven’t been able to perform like that consistently.

But against Swys de Bruin’s crew they produced one of their better displays of rugby and they looked in control of the South African derby until a red card to wing Raymond Rhule sparked a Lions surge in the second half.

The hosts were also shown yellow by referee Nick Bryant after he’d issued a team warning, and that took the Stormers to 13 men and their third card, after outside centre JJ Engelbrecht was sin-binned in the first half for a dangerous tackle on Andries Coetzee.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, the hosts put up a good fight but Lions flyer Madosh Tambwe made sure that the Stormers wouldn’t be rewarded with a late converted try. And although it obviously wasn’t the result the Stormers wanted Fleck praised their efforts following the game.

“To stay within touching distance for half-an-hour with 14 men was a great effort.”

“The attitude of the players showed that culturally we are strong they play for the jersey and as a coach you have to be happy with that. The character shown by our team was unbelievable.”

As much as Fleck was pleased with the effort, he also lamented his charges’ discipline, although he didn’t agree with all Bryant’s calls.

“Our discipline was an issue. We spoke before the match that if we gave away too many penalties we would allow the Lions into the game. Look some of the penalties against us were 50/50 calls. But we had a red card and two yellows which makes it difficult. I can’t argue with (replacement loose forward) Jaco Coetzee’s yellow coming after a warning but in JJ’s case the player did jump into the tackle and it was quite tough to control that.”

“Look, it’s small margins but if you look at it from a safety point of view, if you connect to the head, it’s a red. So, I can’t argue with that decision,” Fleck said with regards to Rhule’s send-off.