'A nice achievement': Dobson on the Stormers 'Grand Slam'
REACTION: Stormers’ clean sweep over South African opposition in the round-robin matches of the United Rugby Championship has to be celebrated and with good reason admits head coach John Dobson.
The Stormers have proven that they are currently the best team in South Africa as they secured a 29-23 victory over the Sharks on Saturday.
The win means the Cape Town franchise has recorded historic home and away victories over the Lions, Bulls and Sharks.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Stormers head coach John Dobson could not deny the importance of the feat after having downplayed the achievement throughout the week.
“Whether you call it a clean sweep or the Grand Slam, it actually was important to us at the end,” Dobson said.
“It’s a nice achievement for this group.
“I am not sure how often this is going to happen, that you are going to get a South African team that wins all three home and away.
“It might happen next year or might happen in 15 years, so it is great for us.”
#REACTION: @SharksRugby boss Neil Powell on his team’s last three round-robin fixtures.
💢 Missed opportunity against @THESTORMERS
💢 Aphelele Fassi’s injury #rugby #news #sports @URCOfficial https://t.co/67mBZHNQVL
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) March 5, 2023
When Dobson’s men scored their fourth try in the 55th minute to stretch their lead to 26-6, it looked like the game, was all wrapped up in front of more than 30 000 spectators at the Cape Town Stadium.
However, the Durban-based franchise refused to give up and scored three tries in the final 20 minutes.
To make things more challenging for the Stormers, they had to conclude the match with 13 men as Sazi Sandi and Seabelo Senatla each received a yellow card.
“I was very disappointed with discipline in the second half,” Dobson told reporters.
“It was poor. We definitely should have gone for poles when we were 15 points up [just after Yaw Penxe scored for the Sharks]. But we didn’t and it ends up we don’t score and instead, they scored [closing the deficit to just three points]
“There were some disappointing elements.
“Some asked how can Sharks not close the game in the last eight minutes. However, we showed our character and at 13 men we looked comfortable which was very odd.”
Stormers fullback Clayton Blommetjies, who scored a brace of tries shared the coach’s sentiments.
“We made stupid mistakes,” Blommetjies said, adding: “If we eliminate those types of things along with the yellow cards we could’ve been in a better position.
“But we defended better with 13 men and I think credit has to go to the team for how they managed the last seven minutes.”
The defending champions travel to Dublin next to take on Leinster when the URC returns from a two-week break.
*Photo credit: @TheStormers