Kry die Stormers nie skaam nie?
After doing all the hard work to earn a Super Rugby home playoff berth, coach Robbie Fleck’s team simply didn’t pitch up in their humiliating 60-21 quarterfinal defeat to the Chiefs in front of their own fans at Newlands on Saturday.
En dis ’n ou ding van hulle.
Back in 1999, led by now-Sanzaar boss Andy Marinos, the Men in Black Stormers demanded win bonuses ahead of their Newlands knockout match against the Highlanders or they would strike.
They ended up losing that match and also possible win bonuses for that clash.
Then in 2011, Bryan Habana and company lost their home semi to the Crusaders, the following year it was the Sharks that knocked out the Newlands boys on their own turf in the final four.
Last year, a little more than a month after beating the Brumbies during the round-robin phase of the tournament at Newlands, the Stormers were knocked out at the ground 39-19 by the Aussies in the quarters.
And now this – their worst ever home defeat!
Apart from the first few minutes of the clash on Saturday, the Stormers were never really in the match.
The eight tries to three in favour of the visiting Chiefs is a testament to that.
Ironically, it was the Stormers that did most of the playing, with territory and possession counting in their favour.
They made rookie mistakes at crucial moments, though, and failed to keep their momentum going when they actually had some decent go- forward ball.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, cashed in on their opposition’s errors and finished off their opportunities much better than the Stormers.
Fleck’s boys were also beaten too easily on the outside and were simply blown away by the Kiwis.
The coach admits as much and says: “It’s hard to argue against that performance, they just blew us away in that first half.
“The tempo that they played at just killed us, the chat at half time was that we’re going to fight until the end.
“The boys showed the character. We tried to fight hard, but at the end of the day they just blew us apart.
“Everything they did just came off for them, and I think likewise it’s a taste of what’s going to come next year for some of our young guys.”
Fleck believes the fact that they hadn’t played any Kiwi sides before this encounter made life difficult for them.
The coach explains: “You would like to test yourselves against these guys [the Kiwi teams] throughout the season and we haven’t had a taste [of that] – now we know what it’s like and we have to up our game for next year.”