The Stormers’ slump to a massive 3-40 loss to the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener at Loftus on Saturday mirrored the chaos in the boardroom.
Yet coach Robbie Fleck insists that the players’ well-documented displeasure with the way the franchise and union is being run isn’t affecting on-field performances.
“I’m going to say no,” said the former Bok midfielder.
“We’re a tight group and we’re not going to worry about what is happening off the field. We can have a built-in excuse system for anything that is going on and we’re not going to do that. It was an off day, we will gather the pieces and get up again on Monday.”
That answer won’t cut ice with many critics.
In fact, unconfirmed reports have emerged that the Stormers eventually didn’t play in their Marvel-inspired “Thor” jerseys due to a vehement disagreement between players and management on the team bus.
To add to the tension, the Capetonians had the further disruption of getting stuck on the N1 after Olifantsfontein on their way to the stadium following a serious truck accident.
It led to kick-off being delayed by 20 minutes.
“We’re also not going to look at that as an excuse,” said Fleck.
“We just didn’t deliver what we had hoped. It was a frustrating performance. You just can’t play without possession at this level. We were done by half-time, it was tough for us to come back.
The Stormers mentor was also awkwardly dismissive of questions over their kit as it’s understood they’re contractually obliged to wear the Marvel jerseys in local derbies.
“No, we wore the black jerseys, which is our official away kit,” said Fleck.
Pressed further on the issue, he merely replied: “There was no specific reason. That’s got to do with marketing, that’s got nothing to do with me.”