Dobson wants the Stormers to chalk up wins before their challenging tour of Australasia
The Stormers‚ according to their sage coach John Dobson‚ will go ‘Full Metal Jacket’ when they confront the Blues at Newlands on Saturday.
They are unbeaten after four rounds of Super Rugby and while they have not fired on all cylinders‚ Dobson is more concerned with keeping their unblemished record in tact.
He wants his team to chalk up wins before their challenging tour of Australasia.
“Hopefully we can win as many as we can before we go on tour where we play the Crusaders‚ Chiefs and Brumbies‚ which is not easy.
“It will be a massive game‚” he said about the challenge awaiting them against the Blues who beat the Bulls at Loftus.
“They always box well when they come here. Two years ago they had that fight with Eben (Etzebeth). It will be a great game we will be full metal jacket for this one.
“It will leave us in a really strong position.”
Their latest conquest left them four from four but they at times spluttered in the wet against the game Jaguares.
They won 17-7 and this time they failed to keep their powder dry at a wet Newlands.
Dobson was content he saw improvement.
“Last week we won with character but we are much happier with this.
“It may not be that easy to see. We had to grind it out.
“I thought our processes were better‚ our breakdown was superb‚ our set piece was solid‚ our ball retention good against a team that just hacked the ball and made us start in our 22.
“I thought in terms of the stuff in which we wanted to be better we were a lot better. I was pretty pleased with that performance.”
He did lament his team attempting long passes from first receiver to a heavy carrier in midfield in the rain.
“Maybe we got that wrong.”
He admitted being frustrated at halftime when they held a slender 3-0 lead.
In the second half they were able to string more phases together than the previous week in a relatively high scoring match on the dry Highveld.
“We worked harder off the ball. Our conversion rate is poor but our attack‚ given the conditions‚ was better‚” noted the coach.
The clash against Blues gives them the opportunity to stretch their unbeaten run but it can also be a match laden with peril if they fail to fix some of their shortcomings.
Dobson conceded that across the back three the Stormers don’t possess the kicking game that can apply pressure.
In fact‚ he asserts‚ they have invited pressure on his team and against a counter-attacking force like the Blues they could be left vulnerable.
“It certainly is something that I will be addressing. There are challenges across the back three in our kicking game.
“It is potentially a red flag and a concern for us.”
Although the Stormers recorded a third consecutive win at Newlands this season‚ the coach conceded winning at the ground that they will abandon at the end of the season will become increasingly difficult.
“It means a lot to us but the guys are sad. Our way to say good bye to the stadium is to host in the sharp end of the tournament. There is no question that is our standard.
“The problem is every coach that comes here wants to win at Newlands for the last time.
“Pote Human was drying his eyes here because he could not believe it was the Bulls’ last game here. It is motivating the opposition as well.”
Source: TMG Digital.