The Stormers are back in Cape Town to prepare for Saturday's Super Rugby showdown with the Aussie outfit, the Brumbies, at Newlands.
The team has been on their annual Australasia tour which ended on a high after scoring five tries at AAMI Park against the Rebels to claim their fourth win of the campaign.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that his team’s work-rate on defence laid the platform for their impressive 41-24 victory against the Rebels in Melbourne last weekend.
He was full of praise for his team’s tireless effort on defence, which saw them make over 150 tackles and create some valuable attacking opportunities.
“Things went our way and the passes stuck. It was an outstanding defensive performance, we knew what the Rebels were capable of on attack and we put them under pressure through our defence and our work-rate.
“The boys tackled for each other, they worked hard off the ball and that created the opportunities for us. It was a good, clinical performance from us, so we are very happy,” he said.
Fleck explained that it was vital for the Stormers to put the Rebels’ experienced Wallaby halfback pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper under pressure in order to dictate terms.
“We put a huge emphasis on our defence this week, we knew Genia and Cooper would be a threat and their gameplan revolves around them. We knew we had to get off the line and put them under pressure.
“That is what created those opportunities on attack and for the first time this tour we converted, against probably the best Australian side."
The Stormers coach added that it was a crucial win for his team’s morale after some disappointing results in the previous three matches on tour.
“We have been threatening this entire tour to put in an 80-minute performance, which is what was required.
“It was a massive win for us, we have been fighting this tour and threatening with our performances. We have been training well but just didn’t get that win, but it came and that is massive for the boys.
“To get on that flight now knowing that we got a win on tour against probably the best Australian side is great,” he added.
Stormers stand-in captain Steven Kitshoff was particularly impressed with the contribution and work-rate of some of the younger players, who stepped up in the absence of leaders such as Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Chris van Zyl.
“It is tough to lose key players, but I think the young guys that came through like Ernst (van Rhyn) making his debut can be very pleased. All of them played such good rugby and made such a big impact. It was just incredible to watch and have that presence on the field, they just gave it everything for the full 80 minutes.
“Making over 150 tackles, the okes were firing to get the win tonight,” he said.
The Stormers have six more home games at Newlands out of their eight remaining fixtures in the regular season, starting on Saturday when they take on the Brumbies.African News Agency