‘Full metal jacket’ for DHL Stormers

PUBLISHED: April 28, 2024

Director of Rugby John Dobson says that the DHL Stormers will be putting everything they have into the last three matches of the regular season in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.

Following their bonus-point 42-12 win against Leinster at DHL Stadium on Saturday, the DHL Stormers are in fifth position on the standings but just two log points ahead of Edinburgh, who are in ninth place.

The next challenge will be a two-match tour overseas which will see them take on the Dragons and Connacht. Dobson said that there are no illusions about how important it will be to win on the road and gather some crucial momentum in the race to the play-offs.

“It is a must-win tour, we will have a level of desperation and we’ll also be touring with our Springboks so it will be full metal jacket every week to try and win every game,” he said.

Having suffered four defeats on tour earlier in the season, the team is determined to show what they can do on the road and captain Salmaan Moerat says that they will embrace the challenges ahead in Newport and Galway.

“We haven’t been great on tour and I think the team realises that. We are really excited about this challenge, we know this is a must-win tour and we have got our Springboks, so that really helps to have some calm heads on tour,” he said.

Moerat made some key decisions to kick for poles and build some scoreboard pressure against Leinster, which ultimately paid off as his team ended with five tries.

He explained that it was crucial for the team’s mindset to keep the scoreboard ticking.

“A topic that came up from last week was our conversion rate in the 22, we’d love it to be a bit higher. I spoke to Manie before the game and our principle is that we want to come out of the 22 with points.

“The boys worked really hard to get into that position, we wanted a two-score lead and when we got that I felt that we could apply some pressure on them.

“It is very important for the team’s morale to come away with some points when you get into the 22. You could be playing some really good rugby, but if the scoreboard doesn’t reflect that then it really doesn’t matter. That is probably the mindset we will try and take into the next couple of weeks,” said Moerat.

Dobson was happy with the way his side responded following the disappointment of defeat at home against Ospreys the week before.

“The team responded, the faults you could see last week with us being too lateral and loose were put right.

“A massive credit to them for the way they fought and came back, it was a really compelling performance.

“We are not going to change how we play, I think we just learned last week to be a bit more circumspect and earn the right with strong carries, which is where guys like Salmaan, Joseph and Evan were exceptional. That opens up the space for the guys on the outside,” he added.