It’s ‘cup final stuff’ for Fleck and the Stormers

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The Stormers have let their lead in Africa Conference 1 slip following three consecutive matches without a win.

After a narrow defeat to the Waratahs, they enjoyed a bye before a draw against the Sunwolves and a tight loss at the Bulls.

Now, the Stormers find themselves in second place on the conference standings, knowing that they really can’t afford anymore slip-ups if they want to qualify for the quarter-finals.

“Obviously we want to win every game, but certainly that pressure is there now. It’s closer that what we had planned. Every week is important and every match is important. It is sort of cup final stuff for us now,” Fleck said.

“We are not going to lose sight of what we started and where we are going. We are also not going to be distracted by the extra pressures of winning every game. But certainly there is enough there that we are going to keep building on.”

A win will also be important ahead of the international break to end on a positive note, especially after they let it slip a bit over the last few weeks.

The Stormers should have won all those matches, which would have put them in a commanding position in their conference.

But a win this afternoon, coupled with a defeat for the Bulls against the Lions, will put their campaign back on track, and the team on top of Africa Conference 1.

“It’s a long time off, especially with players representing the Springboks and potentially SA A. It’s a tough break for all at the teams,” Fleck said.

“I think every single team in the competition will be hoping to end off the competition on a high note. Certainly we want to get back on the winning ways as well. So it’s a double effort from my side.”

Fleck has had to shuffle his back row following Schalk Burger’s ankle injury, which came under fire after the defeat to the Bulls.

However, with Sikhumbuzo Notshe coming in at No 8 this weekend, they can redeem themselves by treating the Newlands faithful to a impressive display on what is predicted to be a lovely winter’s day.

“It’s an easy slot for Notshe to come in at eight, it is his natural position, so he is quite well-accustomed to it, even though he is playing six. It doesn’t disrupt the back row too much, the fact that he is replacing Schalk there,” he said.

Weekend Argus

Original source: It’s ‘cup final stuff’ for Fleck and the Stormers

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