DHL Stormers will keep digging deep

PUBLISHED: February 6, 2023

The depth that the DHL Stormers have built this season showed its worth in their coastal derby win in Durban.

Having rested a few key players the previous week, the DHL Stormers came out firing and ran in six tries on their way to an impressive 46-19 win at Hollywoodbests Kings Park on Saturday.

Head Coach John Dobson admitted that they had identified the game against the Cell C Sharks as crucial, after two tough away defeats against Glasgow and Ulster, either side of wins in the Heineken Champions Cup.

“We were always coming for this game to be honest. We thought it was very important in terms of the South African Shield and getting a bit of a cushion.

“It was a plan to rest some guys last week and come here and come for this game in the local derby, which came off.

“There was some emotion because we had lost two Vodacom URC games in a row and won the two Heineken Champions Cup games in between,” he said.

With a number of players stepping up in the absence of rested Springboks and injured players, Dobson is particularly satisfied with the depth available to him.

It was something that they identified as key to their Vodacom United Rugby Championship title defence and is paying off handomely as they currently sit in second position with a home play-off booked in the Heineken Champions Cup as well.

“We didn’t want to be a one-hit wonder and the key to that, especially considering we are competing in three competitions if you include the Currie Cup, was to create depth.

“I think we have still got some work to do in some areas, especially in the backs, but in the forwards we have created some nice depth,” said Dobson.

Dobson was particularly pleased with the way his side was able to create attacking opportunities for themselves and pointed out a dominant scrum as another crucial factor in their dominance.

“The first try for me set the tone for the game. That is a DHL Stormers try which we work on and who we are.

“We want chaos and we want counter-attack opportunities. Our line-out creaked a little bit later in the game, but our scrumming performance was also superb.

“Joseph is a great scrumming hooker and Neethling is a guy that I think people must start looking at going forward, he is just such a good tighthead,” he said.

The DHL Stormers squad will take a break this week and then start gearing up for the next South African derby against the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld next week.