Audio: ‘A great train robbery’
REACTION: For the second week in a row, the Stormers had to rely on their own ‘bomb squad’ for a hard-fought 42-37 win over the Pumas on Friday.
The Pumas took a 30-14 lead at the break in Nelspruit, however, John Dobson’s men put in a storming second-half effort – scoring four blustering tries to walk away with the spoils.
The result follows on from the Stormers’ 23-17 win over the Lions at Newland in Round two, when the hosts overturned 6-10 deficit at the break.
Despite the stunning comeback, the Stormers camp certainly have loads of concerns as they were outplayed for much of the match.
The Pumas’ kicking game dictated by flyhalf Eddie Fouche (prior to his injury-enforced departure) and fullback Devon Williams was one of the key elements that kept the star-studded Cape Town side on the back foot.
*Article continues below…
Speaking to reporters after the encounter in Nelspruit, head coach John Dobson admitted his side were poor and ‘well beaten’ by the Pumas however praised the character of the team.
“Probably the only thing we showed was some character towards the end.
“I thought we were well beaten and the Pumas were really outstanding. They probably left two or three tries out there on the park and we were just poor,”
“We pulled all of our Springboks off and our next tier really stood up, so I was really proud of them,”
He added: “You can’t coach that sort of character that came from those guys,”
*Article continues below…
The Stormers have a couple of workons as Dobson identified the line-out and the kicking game as some of the troubling areas during the match.
“[Their kicking game] pinned us well back into our own half. We also messed up lineout after lineout, so we could not get out of our half and in terms of territory, they dominated us,”
While maintaining a level of discretion about his half-time speech, Dobson opened up about what was said to his players as they looked to overcome the Pumas 16-point lead.
“I made a big speech and it was the Pumas who actually scored first in the second half.
“By that stage, we were well beaten so we just had to show some pride in the jersey.
“We were better than that, which was the message at half-time. But with 15 minutes to go, it was the same story and it was literally that last minutes where we pulled off a great train robbery,”
He explained: “The substitutes made a massive difference,”
“Nama Xaba, Neethling Fouche the tighthead prop and JD Schickerling, who probably should have started in retrospect,”
The Stormers take on the Bulls at Loftus Versveld next weekend.