VIDEO: Why Stormers coach is not a 'prophet of doom'
The British and Irish Lions will arrive in Cape Town Sunday to play their last two build-up matches ahead of the much-anticipated three-Test series against South Africa.
The Stormers and South Africa A are the last opportunities for the tourists to fine-tune ahead of the face-offs with the Springboks.
While the SA A team will be a real challenge, the struggling Cape Town franchise could be in for a big drubbing.
Western Province, the name under which they play in the Currie Cup but essentially the same team, suffered a demoralising 28-30 loss to Griquas in a midweek game at the Cape Town Stadium this past week.
Coach John Dobson readily admits a lot of hard work awaits his team ahead of their showdown with the international tourists.
Dobson admitted that their biggest challenge will be the set pieces – scrums and line-outs.
He pointed to the scrum penalties conceded against Griquas and then having to take it up to Test level – where the likes of Tadhg Furlong awaits – is a massive challenge.
“The scrums are certainly one area where we need to improve,” Dobson said.
He also felt their maul defence will have to be solid.
He said the Stormers (the name under which they will face the tourists) prefers a faster game.
“The B&I Lions are really good at lifting the speed and that suits us,” the coach said.
While the midweek loss to Griquas will impact team morale, he felt they have put the basics in place in training.
“We are up for it,” Dobson said, adding: “There are some areas of our game we are concerned about, but I won’t be a prophet of doom ahead of playing the B&I Lions.
“It has been a tough week, so hopefully we have a better week working towards the B&I Lions.”
Dobson said the Griquas clash was a frustrating game and WP’s discipline and performance was terrible.
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“It was a very stop-start game, we got sucked into the contestable kicking game which we didn’t execute very well,” he said.
“If you give away 17 penalties you are not going to win many games.”
The last-minute loss capped a frustrating week for Western Province, with most of the coaching staff sidelined due to COVID protocols.
“The coaches haven’t really been involved this week because of COVID protocols so the players played a big role in the preparations.
“It was a frustrating week, in a way it was a good opportunity for the players to coach themselves to a degree and good for their growth, but that was soured by a very poor performance,” Dobson explained.
* Meanwhile the Stormers will wear a special heritage jersey for their clash with the British and Irish Lions.
There is a long history between the British side and teams from the Western Cape, which goes back 130 years.
The first time a team from the British Isles toured South Africa was in 1891 and their second match was against Western Province, with the tourists winning 6-0.
There have since been many epic encounters between the British and Irish Lions and local teams in Cape Town, with the most recent being a tense 26-23 win for the visitors at Newlands in 2009.
The limited-edition jersey will be worn by the Stormers next week only.