John Dobson looking to revitalise Stormers after back-to-back defeats takes it’s toll
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CAPE TOWN - The Stormers’ change-room was a really disappointing space after losing two games they should have won, head coach John Dobson admitted after their 20-16 defeat to the Bulls.
Saying it was another match they should have claimed but didn’t is no exaggeration – both their Rainbow Cup SA contests so far have been fixtures in which the Stormers could have celebrated. Instead, their first two games in the competition ended in defeats – a 33-30 – result against the Sharks and a 20-16 one against the Bulls at the weekend.
While their recent results haven’t exactly been encouraging, Dobson went on to explain that he “can’t fault their efforts”.
“We should not be seduced by the scoreboard,” he said.
“It is a really disappointing changeroom. Those were two games in a row we could have, or should have, won. And that has taken its toll on the guys.
“Now it is about getting them up mentally, excited and keeping the team together.
“You can’t fault the guys’ effort. Despite all our disruptions, we are boxing well.”
Some of those disruptions have come in the form of injuries – an area where the Cape side have really been hit hard recently – while the other has been the suspension of Seabelo Senatla.
In their opener against the Sharks, young flyhalf Kade Wolhuter sustained a knee injury that will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season, while the pack has also been affected significantly.
While vice-captain Salmaan Moerat and JD Schickerling are both out with a neck and ankle injury respectively, Springbok lock Marvin Orie has now been added to that list after he left the field against the Bulls with a concussion.
On Saturday, the Stormers will face the Lions at Ellis Park, a venue Dobson said is a perfect pitch to execute one of their main objectives – to get their ballin-play time much higher, something he flagged as an objective at start of the season as well.
“Ellis Park is a great venue for those tactics. The result might not show it, but I don’t think our processes were that far off the last two weeks,” he said.
On the second-row situation, Dobson said: “We have had a run (with injuries) in certain positions, which has put us under a bit of stress.
“We struggled a bit in the line-outs, Marvin was a big loss to us, because our other caller is JD and he is also injured.”