AUDIO: Stormers were ‘handsomely’ beaten
REACTION: From the kick-off, it seemed like the Sharks were in a far better state than their opponents the Stormers.
In true South African derby fashion, the encounter, which Sharks won 24-14, was utterly brutal and physical.
Both teams scored two tries, while the boot of Curwin Bosch added an extra 10-points to his team’s tally courtesy of a conversion, three penalties and a crucial drop-goal.
In addition to the Sharks’ impressive kicking game, the Durban-based side dominated possession (63-37) and territory.
In terms of attack, they run more than 300 metres and made 105 carries compared to Stormers’ 197 metres and 60 carries.
Stormers had their fair share of chances, but lack of discipline and the Cape Town side loss of key players like Jean-Luc Du Plessis, Springbok duo Herschel Jantjies and Steven Kitshoff at crucial times made winning an impossible task.
“The Sharks deserved to win,” Dobson told reporters after the match in Durban.
“We knew that that aerial kicking threat was coming, and we lost it handsomely.
“They put us under a lot of pressure with that kicking game, exactly what I thought in the week. And once we lost the left foot [of flyhalf Du Plessis], we just couldn’t exit; we lost the territory battle and gave away a couple of tight penalties when we were in the lead,”
The huge talking point of the match was Johan du Toit’s yellow card after just 12 seconds into the match. The flank made a disastrous aerial tackle on Sharks scrumhalf Louis Schreuder.
Referee AJ Jacobs decided to show Du Toit a yellow card, despite the advice from TMO Willie Vos that the tackle warranted a red card.
When asked about the incident Dobson said he would have had ‘no complains’ if Du Toit received a red card.
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“I think the referee did well to call it down to yellow because he [Screuder] landed on his back, but if it had been a red card, I’d have no complaints.
“You sit in the coaches’ box and think “What the hell just happened” – it’s never part of any plan whatsoever, to do anything like that. If he [Du Toit] had gotten a red card, I wouldn’t have a complaint.
“I just thought once you could see he [Schreuder] was on his back, that the referee showed a bit of courage [to overrule the TMO]. But I can understand that people are a bit disgruntled because it’s not nice to see a guy come off on a medical cart. It’s just not nice. Apologies for that,”