The Stormers will be looking to bounce back in Round 2 of the 2019 Super Rugby season when they host the Lions at Newlands Stadium on Saturday, 23 February, kick-off at 17h15 CAT.
The Cape side got their campaign off to a nightmare start last weekend when they succumbed 40-3 away to the Bulls – arguably the worst result coach Robbie Fleck has had since taking charge of the franchise in 2016.
Fleck insists it was just an ‘off day’ for his side but has refused to make excuses for the embarrassing loss.
“It’s a tough start for us. Well done to the Bulls… it was a clinical performance from them and not so from our side,” said the Stormers coach. “It was an off day but it’s not going to keep us down. It’s a setback and we’re going to have to pick ourselves back up.”
The Lions, by contrast, secured an impressive 25-16 win away to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires – a result inspired by a hat-trick from Marnus Schoeman – and they will be eyeing a second away win at the start of the season.
“The Jaguares when they get quick ball they are extremely dangerous, and their runners are direct, quick and strong. I think we were good at breakdown time and made some good decisions there,” said Lions captain Warren Whitely.
“A couple of guys got good turnovers and we managed to slow down their ball in key areas of the field. Very proud for the boys and we have a big one next week, so recovery is very important for us now, and to travel back to South Africa and then focus on the next game.
“Overall we are happy with the performance. We have struggled over the last couple of years here, and we are really pleased, particularly with our scrums, we did really well and got some crucial turnovers there.”
The Lions have put together a five-match unbeaten run against the Stormers in Super Rugby, including a ‘double’ in the 2018 season which saw the Johannesburg side win 52-31 at home and 26-23 away.
Stormers v Lions, last five results
26 May 2018 – Stormers 23-26 Lions
7 April 2018 – Lions 52-31 Stormers
15 April 2017 – Stormers 16-29 Lions
16 April 2016 – Lions 29-22 Stormers
6 June 2015 – Stormers 19-19 Lions