In a match that’s basically a straight shootout, both the Sharks and the Stormers must go all out for the win
The Stormers should use their desperation to their advantage in their must-win against the Sharks on Saturday.
They won’t be the only desperate ones, though.
In a match that’s basically a straight shootout, both the Sharks and the Stormers must go all out for the win.
Both the Lions (35 points) and Bulls (36) could advance to the play-offs even if they lose (depending on whether the Rebels win), but the Stormers (34) and Sharks (33) have no room for error.
And while desperation normally comes with motivation – which should sometimes be enough to give one team an edge – the Stormers didn’t show that edge against the Sunwolves on Saturday.
It never looked as if the Stormers would lose against the Sunwolves, but it was far from a perfect performance.
The Stormers’ injury situation is of course a factor, especially given the extent of the injuries to key players.
But as Fleck said after their win over the Sunwolves – there’s no point in crying over spilt milk, and they just need to back the guys they do have available.
Against the Sunwolves, there were a number of chances to land the knockout punch, but the Stormers didn’t take it. And the fact that they went for the tee to go 11 points up instead of aiming for a try was also puzzling.
There were also a number of mistakes, and while the Sunwolves don’t rank low when it comes to scrummaging, the Stormers’ all-Springbok front-row would have walked off the pitch with a we-could-have-done-better feeling, especially in the first three-quarters.
The Stormers needed to be lethal, but they weren’t.
Against the Sharks, though, just doing the necessary or minimum won’t be enough, and no soft tries can sneak in.
Seeing as the Sharks will probably feel some travel fatigue after their Buenos Aires defeat to the Jaguares on Saturday night, the Stormers have a chance to amend their less-than-exemplary Newlands record against the Sharks.
But that edge that they were missing against the Sunwolves will be key. After all, like I said earlier, the game is almost a straight shootout.
So, while the Stormers’ main objective against the Sunwolves was to get the win, which they did, more will be required against the Sharks.
And a more lethal approach on the day should give them the much-needed edge.