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Dobson unpacks four key areas for Stormers to improve

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Coach John Dobson has identified four key areas Stormers need to improve in their pursuit to clinch the United Rugby Championship title this season.


The Stormers were impressive in the first two seasons.

They won the inaugural URC title and then hosted their second consecutive Final last season.

Unfortunately for the Cape Town franchise, they fell short 14-19 to Munster during the Final in May at the Cape Town Stadium.

Speaking to reporters, Dobson admitted the pressure of being defending champs took its toll last season.

However, he believes the team have the ability to go a level up.

“It was tough being defending champions in a competition like this.” Dobson said, adding: “And the truth is we were four and a half minutes away from winning the title in the final.


“Often when you don’t win something everything went wrong but that wasn’t the case.

“We were poor in the  Final.

“The pitch was shocking and we probably messed it up as well.

“So the challenge for us is to be much better.


“[This season] we will hunt to be the top team in the URC.

“It’s just a nicer mindset to be in because if we are hunting and chasing a team like Leinster we will get close.

“Standing at the summit [as defending champs] with everyone coming at us was not so easy.”

He added: “We got the leaders and players to do that”

* (Article continues below the Dobson interview…)

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Four Pillars

The Stormers secured the SA Shield by 15 points, beating all their local rivals home and away.

However, knowing how the SA teams Bulls, Sharks and Lions are working hard to improve their respective squads, Dobson has pinpointed four areas for his team to work on.

“The South African shield will be much tighter,” Dobson said.

“I don’t think that feat [beating all SA teams home and away] is going to be repeated.

“But what I am convinced of is that we clearly have to work on four key areas.”

He explained: “There are some big tweaks in our attack shape, us getting better at understanding 4g pitches and Northern hemisphere conditions and we can be a little better at our breakdown.

“We have identified those four key areas and if we can improve those we will be better.”

The Stormers will play the SWD Eagles and Sharks at the end of September as part of their season preparations.

The Cape Town side opens their URC campaign against the Lions at Ellis Park on October 21.


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