Stormers not far off despite winless run
REACTION: Stormers captain Neethling Fouche said it is heartbreaking knowing you delivered your best performance but still suffered a defeat at the hands of Munster.
In a match, that was a repeat of last season’s United Rugby Championship Final, Munster recorded a hard-fought 10-3 win over the Stormers in Limerick on Saturday.
The match was played in tough conditions, with both sides handling it fairly well. In the end, Edwin Edogbo’s try proved to be the difference.
“This was our best game by far on tour and we still not getting the win, it’s heartbreaking,” said Fouche, who was yellow carded for repeated infringements in the first half.
“But then again the stuff we showing out there shows that we are not far off.”
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Stormers coach John Dobson said the performance of his team against a strong Munster side gives him hope.
It displays the depth of his team, especially without his World Cup winners.
“This is probably one of the toughest places to come and win at in the whole competition, let alone when it’s windy and rainy on a Saturday night,” Dobson said.
“This performance gives me so much hope for this team. It’s not a question of losing faith in the team, I am feeling proud and more excited about them now.
“This is proper depth. We had probably flyhalf number four playing when you consider that Manie [Libbok] and Damian [Willemse] are one and two, and Sacha [Feinberg-Mngomezulu] is three if we have Dan [Du Plessis] at inside centre. It gives me a lot of room for optimism.”
The biggest takeaway
Dobson added that his team ‘got it right tactically’, but there were one or two mistakes where they could’ve done better.
“I thought we fought magnificently,” Dobson said.
“I don’t think we got the reward from our scrum dominance, but that was also down to a couple of our own mistakes, where we should’ve kept the ball in.
“There were three British & Irish Lions in this Munster team, backed by a crowd, in a game played in the wind and rain. We won the contestable battle and it didn’t feel like we were tactically outdone by a northern hemisphere team, which is a great improvement and probably our biggest takeaway.
“If we got a try, 10-10 would’ve been a fairer outcome, but this a very difficult place to win and Munster are getting closer and closer to being fully loaded. So I am very happy with the performance, but disappointed because we could’ve controlled the outcome.”
The Stormers have now lost three in a row on tour. They take on Cardiff next week and a win will ease the log pressure as they conclude their tour.
“We need the win in Cardiff,” Dobson said.
“If we get that win, we are three from six games, which is only 50 percent but five of those games would’ve been away, so it’s quite a nice way to launch at home.
“It does make next Friday night very important for us. So we are going to have another pressured week of preparation, but if we delve into this game properly, there is a lot to take from it. If we get that win on Friday night, we will be really well positioned.”
The coach revealed that Gary Porter sustained a very serious ankle injury and is expected to be sidelined for a couple of weeks.