Stormers to bully teams with 'explosive power'
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers’ game plan for the upcoming Super Rugby tournament will be a “very simple” one.
Speaking to reporters ahead of his team’s Varsity Day friendlies on Saturday, head coach John Dobson revealed that he wants his team to bully the opposition into submission using the power of his forwards.
It’s no real surprise as the Stormers have tried to do this in recent seasons, but the Springboks’ World Cup success last year has renewed Dobson’s optimism that a simple plan involving a powerful forward pack is the right route to go.
Assisting the Stormers’ cause is that they will be able to call on several Bok forwards that did duty during the World Cup, which includes captain Siya Kolisi, World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe and Bongi Mbonambi.
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“We changed our game model a reasonable amount since last year, so hopefully we will see the first signs to a more explosive power-based game rather than a Super Rugby phase-based game,” said Dobson.
“It’s edgy in some ways and hopefully we see some signs of it this weekend.”
A dominant Stormers’ pack could also help a player like Damian Willemse kick on in the backline.
“We are going to focus on explosive power rather than running. Our game model is going to be very simple.
“It will almost be like Province back in the day. We got to use this pack and their power – exactly what they did for the national team and hopefully use that momentum for Damian Willemse to leg it and Sergeal [Petersen] to step.
“It will be crazy for us to bring those Springboks [forwards] back and let them run 200 metres.”
When it comes to injuries, the Stormers could be without some muscle in the second row when Super Rugby starts.
“JD Schickerling and Cobus Wiese are the two long-term injuries. They are 50-50 for the Hurricanes [February 1] and the Dan du Plessis, as usual, is still out for a couple of weeks after that,” Dobson added.
Meanwhile, Pieter-Steph du Toit has a slight shoulder injury, but he should be available for the opening match.