The Stormers were going to enjoy the sights and sounds of Singapore last week. Coach Robbie Fleck said so himself in the build-up to the match.
Instead, the Sunwolves embarrassed them on the rugby field.
Yes, Fleck’s charges just about got out of jail with a draw – 17-all thanks to a late Vincent Koch try, but what we saw on Saturday was the result of too much “fearless” rugby.
It looked like the Cape side thought they only needed to pitch up in Singapore to get the four log points.
Instead, they were made to sweat for it and eventually got half of what was their “right” – two log points.
Luckily for the Stormers, the Bulls couldn’t capitalise on their slip-up and lost to the Waratahs, leaving the Stormers with a three-point advantage at the top of their conference.
Heading into this week’s match against their old foes at Loftus, Fleck will know things will have to change and it will have to change drastically if they want to restore some pride.
Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit gave his all against the Sunwolves, while Cheslin Kolbe wasn’t too bad either. But the rest of the guys will have to do some serious soul-searching this week.
The players need to understand that you have to earn the right to go wide.
For all their attacking approach, the Stormers have failed to implement a solid territorial game and fingers will be pointed at halfbacks Louis Schreuder and Jean-Luc du Plessis, who really needed to stamp their authority on the game a little more.
Their discipline, too, cost them in an encounter where the players looked flat and niks lus nie.
It is at the breakdown, especially, where Fleck and his management team will have to focus this week as they were penalised at the point of contact on a number of occasions.
It will now be a case of dust yourselves off and pull yourself together for what is likely to be a conference decider this weekend.