Fleck finds this Chiefs loss ‘tougher to swallow’
STORMERS coach Robbie Fleck says their 17-11 Super Rugby quarter-final defeat to the Chiefs at the weekend feels worse than last year’s 60-10 loss to the same opposition.
At Newlands on Saturday, the Stormers trailed by one point (1211) until the 76th minute, when Shaun Stevenson scored the Chiefs’ only try after a period of relentless pressure by his team.
Throughout the game, both teams showed rock-solid defence, and the Stormers also smothered the opposition with their line speed at times, which was a big improvement from the defensive efforts they put on show in their three games leading up to the playoffs.
But it’s the fact that they came so close that made this defeat “tougher to swallow” for Fleck’s team.
“I think it does feel worse than last year’s loss to the Chiefs. We were just saying in the changeroom afterwards that last year’s loss was pretty humiliating,” Fleck said during the post-match press conference.
“There was a feeling that this year is a lot, lot tougher to swallow, especially with how far we’ve come in the last 12 months.”
The Stormers have sure made a lot of progress since that quarterfinal horror, and while Fleck said he wasn’t sure if “the best team won”, he was positive about what his team has shown this season.
“I don’t know if the best team won, but we are certainly a better outfit than what we were 12 months ago.
“So it’s a tough loss for us. It’s been a long journey for us. I’m happy with where we are with our