Craig Ray | 2017-05-28 16:53:19.0
Stormers’ captain Siya Kolisi (L) and teammate Dewaldt Duvenage celebrate the try during the Super Rugby match against Blues at DHL Newlands on May 19, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image by: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
The Stormers are all but in the Super Rugby play-offs despite slumping to a fifth defeat of the season against the Sharks at King’s Park on Saturday‚ but captain Siya Kolisi is tired of excuses.
Despite the 22-10 loss against the Sharks‚ the Stormers still hold a 14 and 15-point cushion over the Cheetahs and Bulls respectively at the top the Africa 1 conference.
On 30 log points‚ the Stormers are all but into the post-season thanks to the vagaries of a tournament structure that rewards mediocrity.
The Cheetahs only have two matches remaining and cannot catch the Stormers while the Bulls could on theory join the Stormers on 30 log points‚ but have a woeful -124 points’ difference. For the Stormers though‚ it’s been a frustrating campaign laced with potential but ultimately marred by failing in big games‚ barring a couple of exceptions.
Beating the Chiefs and Blues at home were the high points of a campaign that has also seen record losses against the Crusaders (57-24) and Highlanders (57-14).
Over the course of the season‚ the excuse of‚ ‘we’re a young group‚ still learning‚’ has been repeated numerous times by coach Robbie Fleck and Kolisi himself. After losing to the Sharks despite dominating the second half and creating enough chances to score‚ Kolisi jettisoned the ‘learning’ excuse. “We were good last week‚ but this week we weren’t‚” Kolisi said.
“They made the most of their opportunities and we didn’t‚ which has been a problem for us all season. “In all the games we have lost‚ the same problems have reoccurred. We have given up possession through poor decision-making or execution when on attack.
“We can’t make the same mistakes over and over and keep on saying that we’re learning. We have to make it right and start actually taking those opportunities.
“Saying ‘we’re learning’ is not enough anymore.” Fleck mirrored those comments in his assessment of the Sharks match. ““We created opportunities out there but we didn’t execute well. We’re not proud of the performance at all‚” Fleck said.
“But we were pretty stupid on their line and made a lot of bad decisions and took wrong options. They did defend well‚ but after we spread them we took poor options.”
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport