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Dobson on URC Final: 'The field was a nightmare for us'

REACTION: Stormers head coach John Dobson admitted that he might have gotten his team’s “game model” wrong for the United Rugby Championship Final.


Dobson’s side fell to a 14-19 defeat at Cape Town Stadium after a late John Hodnett try and a conversion from flyhalf Jack Crowley.

Munster dominated territory and possession in the first half and they found themselves leading 12-7 at the break.

However, the Stormers managed to find some momentum in the second half and they were leading 14-12 for most of the half before Hodnett’s heroics.

Dobson believes his team’s game management could have been better in difficult conditions.

“I saw it as a game of two halves. I thought Munster were superb in the first half and they put us under enormous pressure on defence,” said Dobson.

“We can say it was our worst defensive half because of how well Munster played in that half.


“We lost five out of the six [kicking] contestables.

“In the second half when we started to go through the front door and put them under pressure, I actually thought we were nanoseconds away from winning that game.

“We just needed that extra score. When we were chasing towards the end there, we were trying to go out the back door too much.

“I think I got something very wrong.


“Munster thoroughly deserved to win that game, there is no question about that.

Dobson added: “They were up 12-7 and they had two tries disallowed, so the first-half damage could have been bigger.

“Maybe it was naive of us not changing our game model on that pitch.

“If you come with high line speed and you miss the read, then you can’t turn and recover. Your transition, counterattacking game and scrum is gone, which are probably the three pillars of our game.

“I suppose you donโ€™t change your game model for one game.

“I thought the fight that Munster had when we came back and threw the kitchen sink was remarkable. I genuinely believe they deserved to win the game.”

Dobson believes the state of the pitch at Cape Town Stadium didn’t help matters.

“I just hate mentioning the field.

“I thought the referee was absolutely superb. I thought it was a strong and excellent refereeing performance, but the field was a nightmare for us.

“That’s why I put it on me that maybe we should have changed – slow down the line speed, just kick contestables, don’t try the counterattack, donโ€™t try and go out the back and just go through the front door.

“Maybe those are the things I got wrong.

“It was tough conditions for us to play our game model.

“I should have adjusted our game model.”


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