'It's extraordinary': Stormers players show why they are 'in high demand'
SPOTLIGHT: Stormers head coach John Dobson was a proud man after his team recorded a big win over an experienced Scarlets side in Cape Town on Friday.
The Stormers, who were playing without eight of their Springboks, outscored their visitors by five tries to three on their way to a 36-19 victory.
The win catapulted the Capetonians to third in the standings ahead of the other fixtures over the Round Eight weekend.
“I am pretty happy, to be honest. I think we finished that game with 12 guys who played the first Currie Cup Game last year, so to get a result against a team with 290 Test caps is extraordinary,” said Dobson.
“On the performance, I thought we got away with one or two things at the start.
“We were under the pump a little bit there.
“Our defence after [kicking] contestables was a bit tight and they almost exploited that.
“I thought the way we hung in there in the second half against that team is good.
“It is not our best performance in terms of every single department like defence and some of the kicking game, but the character was outstanding.”
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#ICYMI: The defending United Rugby Championship team, the Stormers, restarted their campaign with an impressive win over a willing Scarlets outfit 👇#URC #Stormers #Scarlets #STOvSCA https://t.co/7MB7dEEHEA
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) November 26, 2022
With some of his big names away on Springbok duty, Dobson believes he has achieved some goals when it comes to depth.
“That was the whole exercise,” the coach explained. We wanted to build depth over this period and we still got to do that next week.
“I don’t want to over-hype it but I think we are on the cusp of another really good generation if we can keep this squad together.
“Our depth is exciting and that is the most heartening thing.”
With his players proving their worth, Dobson admits it could be a challenge to keep them together.
“We have got a salary cap here. The guys will do well here and become Springboks and then they are in demand elsewhere, so that is probably our challenge.
“The challenge isn’t these guys that played tonight [Friday]. They want to stay here. The challenge is what happened with Steven Kitshoff and Ulster and what happens when a World Cup cycle ends soon.
“A lot of these guys are in pretty high demand and that is a challenge we have to see off.
“If a young guy feels he is blocked by someone more established he will probably want to go somewhere else to get some rugby and that is why we have been so disciplined over this period.
“We have used the most players in the URC so far and traditionally that is a bad stat. In our case, it is something we are reasonably proud of.”