Home Southern Hemisphere Time for Fleck to do the Honourable thing

Time for Fleck to do the Honourable thing

After Another Insipid Performance on Friday against the Queensland Reds, it is Time for Stormers Head Coach, Robbie Fleck, to Step Aside.

The DHL Stormers have lost 11 of their last 12 Away Matches in Super Rugby

Taking your dog for a walk, going to the gym, reading the financial times, counting the number of matches in an industrial sized box or washing your pet giraffe’s neck.

All things that would be more fun for 80 minutes right now than watching the DHL Stormers play rugby.

The slightly promising start to the season, after the Bulls humiliation of Week 1, has been demolished as they sit propping up the African conference of Super Rugby and in the middle of a tour of Australasia which reads; played three, lost three.

Weirdly, it could have been so different had they held their nerve against the Hurricanes in the first match in Wellington. It was there for the taking but ill discipline and poor selection cost them in the end, a theme that has since continued.

Try-less against the Blues and then onto the Suncorp Stadium for one of the worst games of rugby witnessed in the Southern Hemisphere for many a year.

The score being nil-nil at half time of this match tells you everything that you need to know.

Ill-disciplined, fractious, poor execution, inability to convert, dire decision making, lack of penetration, clueless. All of these are just part of a non-exhaustive list that could be attributed to the Western Cape Franchise right now.

The Reds would have been a match that Robbie Fleck and his coaching team will have targeted as a potential bonus point victory but alas, they made the weakest team in Australia look slightly less awful than themselves and didn’t even leave with a bonus point. That also makes it 11 losses from their last 12 away matches.

What is most confusing is how Robbie Fleck picks his team and then the way he decides to play.

A back three of Dillyn Leyds, Sergeal Petersen and Damien Willemse is exciting, quick and can cause some serious damage but to then play Damien de Allende as a second play maker outside Jean-Luc du Plessis is nothing short of criminal.

Ruhan Nel left the national Seven’s set-up because he was targeted as a man that could get on the outside shoulder and release the quicker outside backs. The only shoulder he was watching, was the one that had a ball being thrown wildly at it from the players inside him.

The try that De Allende scored at the end of the match was the first by a back on this tour.

The pack missed Pieter-Steph du Toit immensely but even when he plays the rest of the forwards tend to stand back and let him do his thing rather than ease his burden a bit and let him be destructive with ball in hand as well.

Eben Etzebeth’s wretched injury luck does not help any situation and he would be missed by any team in the world but Fleck has a team full of Springboks at his disposal and he simply doesn’t know how to get the best out of them.

They look lost and vacant at times and watching Siya Kolisi’s post-match interview was like watching a broken man that had nothing left to give.

Fleck, a Stormers playing Legend, should now do the honourable thing and let John Dobson take over after the Melbourne Rebels match this weekend.

There are no positive outcomes that can be achieved by Fleck staying in charge until the end of the season. None at all.

Write off the season now and let Dobson start working with the players on a day to day basis.

The former Western Province hooker earned his stripe last season in the Currie Cup as Western Province dominated the tournament even though they lost the final to the Sharks.

That team had direction and people playing in the right positions. He is also a man that will not be scared to mix it up and will avoid playing people on reputation rather than ability.

The Stormers are struggling at fly-half so why not put Damian Willemse there and back him. He can unleash that back line and although mistakes will be made by the young utility back, his confidence will grow knowing that he is the man that will hold that shirt for the rest of the season.

SP Marais is another player that has come under heavy scrutiny on this tour. His performance against the Hurricanes deserved that but he shouldn’t have been playing on the wing in the first place against Wes Goosen, who we know can step and outpace anyone in the modern game.

Did Fleck not look at that on paper and instantly think that this would make them vulnerable? If he didn’t then that makes it all the more worrying to be honest.

Marais is comfortable and dependable at Full Back and that is where he should play if you are going to play the brand of rugby that Fleck and his soldiers are producing at the moment.

Any way that you look at it, the Stormers are in the creek and there isn’t a paddle in sight. They move on to Melbourne now and a Quade Cooper inspired Rebels team that dismantled the sorry looking Reds just a week earlier in Brisbane.

It is not going to be pretty reading for the Capetonians I am afraid. Marais is injured, as is Chris van Zyl, whilst the inspirational Kolisi has been sent home a week early to rest up for the challenges that lie ahead.

The match in Melbourne should be Fleck’s last in charge, especially if there is a cricket score against them.

Thanks for the memories Robbie but now is the time to admit defeat, yet again, and let someone else pick up a bucket and try and shed some water from the sinking ship ‘Newlands’.

 Photo Credit: Flowcomm via creativecommons.org




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