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VIDEO: Stormers happy to have that 'monkey off the back'

REACTION: It had to happen eventually. Cardiff is the team that ended an amazing 16-game unbeaten run by the Stormers.

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This past Saturday’s fixture between Stormers and Cardiff was dominated by the United Rugby Championship title-holders’  unbeaten run.

The Stormers headed into the match on a 16-match streak – 15 consecutive wins, with a 16-all draw against Ospreys last week.

However, the run came to a dramatic end with a 24-30 loss to Cardiff at the weekend.

The Stormers return to South Africa with nine points on the standings – which include a win over Zebre and a draw with Osprey.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Stormers coach John Dobson admitted that the defeat might just be a blessing in disguise.

“We emerged from this tour with nine points from three games,” Dobson said, adding: “It’s not the end of the world.

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“The positive is we deliberately tried to get into the low 30s for the number of players used on the tour.

“Players like Suleiman [Hartzenberg] and Sacha Mngomezulu would’ve learnt a lot from something like [Saturday].

“Also, in a kind of positive way, not having people talk about a record all the time is quite nice, get that off our back – not that we deliberately want to lose.

He added: “We worked a lot on maul and line-outs, got a lot of contestable, and also the general effort of the group throughout – on and off the field.”

(Continue below …)

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The Stormers outscored the hosts four tries to two.

However, an incredible kicking display by Wales flyhalf Rhys Priestland saw the Cape Townians suffer their first URC defeat since February.

“Cardiff at home in these conditions, we always knew it was going to be a tough game,” Dobson said.

“I can’t fault our effort, but the Welsh teams played very cleverly, especially Cardiff , the way they manipulated our back three.

“We mauled fantastically. [However,] in the scrums, these Welsh guys did much better than we expected and their kicking game really put us under pressure.”

The coach delivered some positive news regarding the availability of Evan Roos and Angelo Davids ahead of next week’s match against the Lions at Ellis Park.

“Roos will be available next week and Angelo Davids will be back,” Dobson said, adding: “I would have to speak to the Springbok selectors in terms of the SA ‘A’ team.

“Ruhan [Nel] and Scarra [Ntubeni] will be available more towards the end of the year while Seabelo Senatla will return in March next year.”

@leezil07
@rugby365com

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