Next generation step up for DHL Stormers

PUBLISHED: November 27, 2022

There were a number of relatively inexperienced players who stepped up for the DHL Stormers in the win over the Scarlets on Friday.

With eight Springboks away on tour, the match against the Welsh team at DHL Stadium was always going to be a test of depth as the Vodacom United Rugby Championship got back underway after a break.

Players like debutant Gary Porter, centre Cornel Smit, flyhalf Kade Wolhuter and a host of others showed that there is plenty of talent beyond the ‘frontline’ as they ran in five tries in a convincing 36-19 win.

Head Coach John Dobson was pleased with the result, although as-ever there are still some areas that he felt his team could have been sharper in.

“I thought we got away with one or two things at the start and we were under the pump a bit. Our defence after contestables was a bit tight and they almost exploited that.

“The way we hung in during the second half was good, the character of the team showed when Zas made that tackle in the corner right at the end there.

“Not our best performance in every department, like defence or our kicking game, but the character was outstanding,” he said.

Dobson explained that the coaching staff used the break in the competition to good effect as they worked hard with the players they had at their disposal in preparation for this game.

“We could work with the players properly and we had a great connection session with them last week. They played for each other, I never doubted for a second that they were going to play hard.

“It was so important for us to give these guys confidence. The whole exercise over this period was to build depth and I think we are on the cusp of a great generation with some of the youngsters,” he said.

Dobson added that building depth in the squad is crucial given the demands on his team this season competing in both the Vodacom United Rugby Championship and the Heineken Champions Cup.

“We have used the most players in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship so far. Traditionally that is a bad stat, but in our case it is something that we are reasonably proud of because we are trying to give guys opportunities,” he said.