Dobson satisfied with Stormers tour despite Cardiff loss | The Citizen

Stormers coach John Dobson is satisfied with his team’s three match European tour in the United Rugby Championship, despite ending it on a low note with a 30-24 loss against Cardiff in Wales on Saturday night.

It was the Stormers first loss in 16 matches in the competition, stretching back to last season in March when they started a 14 match winning run, which ended the previous week when they drew against Ospreys.

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Despite the upset loss against Cardiff, the Stormers still picked up two points for scoring four tries and finishing within seven points, giving them nine points from their three games, after picking up a bonus point win over Zebre, followed by the Ospreys result.

“To emerge from this tour with nine points from three games, it’s not the end of the world. We knew these would be two tough games and they certainly were,” admitted Dobson. 

“So to get that many points from three games having not played particularly well is a positive. Other positives were that we deliberately tried to get into the low 30s for the number of players used on the tour.

“Guys like Suleiman (Hartzenberg) and Sacha (Mngomezulu) would’ve learnt a lot from something like today. Also, in a kind of positive way, not having people talk about a record all the time is quite nice, to get that off our back, not that we wanted to do that.

“Technically we worked a lot on our maul and to see how that went today was really good. Our lineout in those conditions against good contesters was good as well as the general effort from the group throughout.”

Clever play

Looking at the match, Dobson said the team worked hard, but it was clever play from Cardiff that proved the difference between the two teams, as they still won despite being outscored four tries to two.

“Cardiff in these conditions on this field was always going to be a tough game. So I can’t fault our effort. I thought the Welsh teams played very cleverly, especially Cardiff this evening. The way they sort of manipulated our back three was brilliant,” said Dobson.

“Obviously the conditions are something we have to get better at, especially on a 4G (pitch). The amount of ball we allowed to bobble around the breakdown was really poor.”

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