DHL Stormers aiming higher

PUBLISHED: March 14, 2022

The DHL Stormers are determined to continue their climb up the Vodacom United Rugby Championship standings with a ‘sharper’ performance when they face Cardiff at DHL Stadium on Sunday.

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Their nine-try 55-7 win against Zebre Parma in Stellenbosch on Sunday saw the DHL Stormers move up to eighth place on the combined standings, just two log points behind the Cell C Sharks who currently top the South African Shield.

The team that wins the South African Shield will be guaranteed a place in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship play-offs this season, as well as a place in the European Champions Cup next season.

Another way to secure those spots is to finish in the top eight on the combined log, which is why the DHL Stormers are detemined to make the most of the six consecutive home games they have coming up.

While satisfied with his team’s attacking display in Stellenbosch, DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that their fast start, which saw them score four tries in the opening 20 minutes, may have led to them getting a little carried away, which is not something they can afford to do against Cardiff this weekend.

“In the first half we allowed ourselves to get a little bit seduced by the syle of rugby and made a couple of mistakes. We turned over 10 balls by half-time, which is a lot.

“Maybe at the defensive breakdown at the start of the second half, perhaps we could have been a bit sharper on our discipline there,” he said.

However, this does not mean that his team will abandon the eye-catching brand of rugby that saw them cross the tryline nine times at the Danie Craven Stadium.

Dobson said that his team want to play a style of rugby that will encourage their faithful supporters to come back in their numbers once regulations allow stadiums in South Africa to open up properly again.

“We are trying to play a high-tempo and move the ball around, it is how we want to attract people to come back to watch us. Rugby has to be quite compelling to get people to come back to the stadiums,” he said.

Captain on the evening Deon Fourie said that the DHL Stormers cannot afford to underestimate Cardiff, who will be motivated to take something from their South African tour after losing to the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg.

“Cardiff are a good side, all the Welsh teams are very physical and play with good structure. They have been training in Cape Town last week, so that will be another challenge. We can’t rest on our laurels going into the game. I played against Cardiff a few times when I was overseas and it can be really tough,” he said.

The only real injury concern from the game against Zebre Parma is replacement hooker Andre-Hugo Venter who left the field with what appeared to be a serious leg injury. He will go for scans this week.