Struggling Stormers do self-examination


The Stormers have enjoyed an excellent run-up to the United Rugby Championship (URC). There was the silverware display in their first attempt, as they progressed to the final of the subsequent tournament.

But these days they are undoubtedly getting the wind from the front.

The Capetians have now lost four matches in a row in Europe and they will hope to get their campaign back on track when they play Zebre in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

For John Dobson, it was difficult to see his team treading clay overseas. Yes, there were tough games against Glasgow Warriors and Munster, but one expected better performances against Benetton and Cardiff.

“Brok Harris said that we should all put our hands in our own bosoms to determine what we could have done better. We identified games beforehand that we could have won, but we just threw them away,” said a disappointed Dobson.

The defeat against Cardiff in particular was a bitter pill to swallow.

The Stormers built up a 14 – 0 lead, only to eventually lose 31 – 24 to the Welsh club.

“I didn’t expect us to play like this at all. It was by far our worst performance of the tour and it was a disappointing way to end things.”

According to Dobson, things are definitely more competitive in the United Rugby Championship than before.

“If you look at the fixtures, there are often matches where you are not quite sure who is going to win.”

He is looking forward to playing a few more matches in South Africa.

“We can also push the buttons of a few returning players (such as Manie Libbok and Damian Willemse). After five games on tour, we are at least playing on our home field again and we will have to deliver better performances.”

The match against Zebre starts at 19:00 on Saturday and the action is broadcast live on SuperSport.

Stormers’ HRC results:

35 – 33 v Lions at Ellis Park (win)

52 – 7 against the Scarlets at the Danie Craven Stadium (win)

20 – 9 v Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium (lost)

20 – 17 against Benetton at the Stadio Monigo (lost)

10 – 3 v Munster at Thomond Park (lost)

31 – 24 v Cardiff at Cardiff Arms Park (lost).