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VIDEO - Dobson: 'It's as bad as it gets'

REACTION: Stormers head coach John Dobson admitted that he received a big “wake-up” call in what was arguably the Stormers’ “worst performance” in the defeat to Ospreys on Saturday.


The Capetonians went down 21-27 in front of the home fans. However, they did manage to salvage a losing bonus point with a penalty try at the death.

The Stormers were guilty of being reckless with ball in hand throughout the 80 minutes, which allowed the visiting Welsh side to feed on their mistakes and record one of their more famous wins in recent history.

Saturday’s result was also a big blow to the Stormers’ hopes of achieving a top-four finish this season with just four rounds left to play.

When asked if that was his team’s worst performance of the URC era, especially at home, Dobson responded: “Unquestionably.”

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He added: “We lost to the Lions here [in December 2021], but we were utterly dominant in terms of possession in that game.

“We knew the Ospreys had the fight in them. They have done some remarkable stuff this season with a small squad and with all the Welsh issues, so firstly credit to them.

“But regarding our performance, I am really sorry about that and can only apologise. It was poor.”

The loss also dented the Stormers’ goal of making Cape Town Stadium a “fortress”.


“Losing to Ospreys at home is as bad as it gets in terms of that and that is the truth. Credit to the Ospreys for the way they fought. That is not what we are about.

“Our losses have been against Munster twice, one was the Final, and La Rochelle in the last two years, so it’s very bad.”

Dobson made several changes to his matchday squad for that match and he admits that he might have got things wrong with his selections.

“Stefan [Ungerer] brought what we wanted. Wandi [Wandisile Simelane] looked sharp,” said Dobson.

“I made all those changes for this week and maybe I made a mistake. You ask a Gary Porter or an Adre [Smith] to go and work and they haven’t played for six or seven weeks.

“If I stuck largely to the team that played La Rochelle, maybe we wouldn’t have [lost] but then we would get into trouble later in the tournament.

“We’ve got to be good enough to beat the Ospreys at home even if we make 10 changes and that is the problem and that is part of the project here.

“It’s a bit of a wake-up call for us.”

On his team’s reckless approach with ball in hand, which included wayward passes, kick passes and playing out of their own 22, Dobson said they got it all wrong.

“There is this thing about who we want to be, but that was taking it to the extreme,” the coach explained.

“We’ve got two tight forwards passing to each other on our own tryline. In the first half, we were as loose as can be.

“It’s a concern and a frustration. I think we coughed up 16 balls today [Saturday].

“The key thing for us is to go forward down the middle of the field and I thought that was what went wrong.

“Our message couldn’t be clearer. Dent them first, run direct hard lines and it will all open up on the sides.

“We are proud of who we are, but that was too loose.

“I am very sorry. I really am.”


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