DHL Stormers can get even better

PUBLISHED: February 19, 2024

Although satisfied with a hard-fought win in Durban, DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson is adamant that there are still a few areas that his team must sharpen up.

The 25-21 victory against the Hollywoodbets Sharks was the 15th consecutive win for the DHL Stormers againt South African opposition and puts them at the top of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship’s SA Shield.

Tries from Joseph Dweba, Paul de Wet and Ben Loader saw the DHL Stormers get over the line once again, but Dobson said that he had been frustrated by the way the home side managed to put them under pressure defensively.

“We must give credit to the Hollywoodbets Sharks, because I don’t think we saw our defensive DNA. We weren’t making the reads and getting off the line.

“The Hollywoodbets Sharks team never stopped coming, I thought if we hadn’t got that line-out turnover at the end there we would have been under pressure if they got that maul going.

“We tried to address it at half-time and didn’t change our behaviour in the second half. If you include advantages we must have been close to 18 penalties. It’s almost like we weren’t working hard enough to get off the line,” he said.

Dobson explained that the plan had been to dominate territory and force the Durban side to play from deep in their own half.

“We got it right in the first half and made sure they had to play a bit from their half, which sounds a bit old school. We wanted to strategically control the game down in their half, but we just eased off pressure with a lack of discipline and poor defence,” he said.

The DHL Stormers now turn their attention to the next big away derby game against the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, March 2 and Dobson is expecting another high-octane encounter at Loftus Versfeld.

“It was important to stay in touch with the Vodacom Bulls and it tees it up for an absolutely epic game in two weeks time. I think there will be a lot in that game, a lot of passion and a great occasion,” he added.