I say give Fleck another chance



July 25, 2016
I say give Fleck another chance

KNOCKED OUT: Taute and Stormer . CREDIT: Noor Slamdien

Stormers coach inherited fresh plan, new team

A lot of Capetonians are probably glad it was ou maand this past weekend.

It meant that not everyone could afford going to Newlands for the Stormers’ quarterfinal clash against the Chiefs.

But rest assured, jy het niks gemis nie.

And those who spent their laaste bietjie kroon on the game will probably curse their luck after the Stormers were completely outplayed by their opposition.

This brings me to Robbie Fleck and his interim position of head coach of the Stormers.

While a number of players have been thrown into the deep end this season, it was Fleck himself who underwent a baptism of fire.

Let’s rewind the clock a bit. When Allister Coetzee left the Stormers and was replaced by Eddie Jones, it was natural that Fleckie would have felt a little bit left out.

Then Jones left the Stormers for England and Fleckie was appointed head coach in haste.

The biggest problem he had was not being able to buy a proper fetcher and a flyhalf.

So here you had a new coach that now has to rebuild a traditional powerhouse franchise.

Then he went and scraped the old playbook – starting heeltemal afresh.

And that’s where I felt Fleckie was taking on a bit too much in one go.

Still he preached a fearless approach to the game and his players responded accordingly.

Fleckie may have been fearless himself in trying a new game plan and then selecting the young players to implement it.

Where I do feel he could have been more aggressive, especially on Saturday, was with his substitutes.

Fullback Jaco Taute had a nightmare match from the start and while he had no recognised No.15 on the bench, it’s here where I felt Fleckie could have shuffled his cards a bit.

One option would have been to move Taute to centre where he wouldn’t have been isolated as much and then he could have shifted Huw Jones to the back of the line – something he spoke of earlier in the tournament, and given Jones’ current form it could have worked a treat.

The other option would have been to play Leolin Zas at fullback where he played for the SA A side.

But as is verbrande hout.

That was just an example of how he could have gone all-out and perhaps even surprised or two against the Kiwis.

Still it was Fleckie’s first season in the hot seat and while he was appointed as interim coach, I say let the guy continue next season.

After all, he was brave enough to expose the likes of Zas, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Robert du Preez and a klompie ander to Super Rugby.

Let’s see what he can do with this team in the next two-three years.

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