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Mission: Consistency


Fleck has made just one injury-enforced change, with Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi ruled out due to injury.

Picture: Ryan Wilkisky BackpagePix

It’s a well-known fact that consistency will be key for the Stormers from here on in, and it’s one that coach Robbie Fleck highlighted when he named his team to face the Highlanders at Newlands tomorrow (kick-off 3.05pm).

While Fleck opted for consistency in his selections, it’s on-field consistency that’s going to matter most as the business end of Super Rugby approaches.

Fleck has made just one injury-enforced change, with Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi ruled out due to injury.

Mbonambi left the field after sustaining a quad injury during the first half of last week’s home match against the Crusaders, with Scarra Ntubeni (pictured) replacing him. Ntubeni will wear the No 2 jersey tomorrow, with Chad Solomon set to make his Stormers debut off the bench.

The only other change is on the bench, with fit-again Wilco Louw back in the match-day squad.

After sustaining a calf injury against the Crusaders, centre Damian de Allende has been cleared to play, although he didn’t train until yesterday.

But Fleck confirmed he completed a tough 60-minute session and was good to go.

The Stormers produced a quality performance against the Crusaders last weekend to secure a 19-all draw, which would have done a lot for their confidence going forward.

The Stormers are at the bottom of the SA Conference, but just six points separate them and the log-leading Bulls.

“It’s nice to have consistency in selection at this stage of the season” Fleck said. “It’s also good reward for the way the guys played last week.

“There was some thought given to starting Wilco but the way Frans Malherbe played last week made it more important to keep the same starting side.

“It’s also rough on Neethling Fouché but he is certainly in all our selection conversations now.

“The players’ bodies were really sore after last week and we’ve managed them well this week by giving them Monday off.

“It’s all about getting them mentally and physically ready for this weekend.

“We have to pick our strongest possible team every week now because we have to win every game.”

With four matches left before the play-offs, captain Siya Kolisi agreed that every game is a must-win from here, although he said they’re not feeling the pressure.

“Every game is more important than the last but we don’t feel extra pressure,” Kolisi said.

“We need to get four points from every game and if we can earn some bonus points along the way, that will be better.

“The only pressure we have is the pressure we put on ourselves.

“After last week’s performance we challenged ourselves to reproduce that quality consistently. We can’t blow hot and cold from week to week.”