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VIDEO: Stormers head off for 'friendly reset' after Loftus 'horrors'

REACTION: The Stormers will go ‘lick their wounds’ after the Loftus Versfeld horror show, when they face Northampton Saints in a scheduled friendly at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.

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Described as an exhibition match, announced three months ago, the two teams face each other as the United Rugby Championship and Premiership take a break due to the Six Nations.

Dobson felt it would be good for his team to get away and reset after the disappointment of the 22-40 loss to the Bulls.

“We have Northampton for a friendly this week, which would be good,” the Stormers coach said.

“[It is] a way to reset after the horrors of Saturday.

“We need to get some momentum.

“Look, we’ve had a good run of momentum. And it’s a funny game,” he added.

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The Stormers, now ninth on the URC standings, have put extra pressure on their campaign following their dreadful run of defeats on their overseas tour in November – losing all four of their fixtures. 

Their discipline was diabolical and Dobson said he had never seen anything like that from his side.

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He was dumbfounded at the plethora of mistakes from the Stormers, starting in the first minute of the game that eventually saw them trail by 0-13 after the first 10 minutes of the game. 

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“I’ve just never seen this.

“Eight penalties or whatever it was in the first 20, five for foul play – like a high tackle or a penalty reversal, balls popping out of sides of breakdowns, kicks going directly out, charge downs,” he said about the litany of mistakes.

“It was just car crash after car crash. 

“I would get solace out of that second-half territory, it gives me some comfort. 

“There were signs out there in the second half that gave me hope going forward.

“I don’t think we’ve opened up teams like that for a long time. That gives me some optimism.”

The Stormers are lucky to have four home games in the URC coming up – against Edinburgh (23/3), Ulster (30/3), Ospreys (20/4) and Leinster (27/4) – while they also host Stade Rochelais in the Champions Cup at home on April 6.

“But we are gonna have to be much better in the discipline and the line-outs going to Stade Rochelais, Ulster, potentially Leinster, EPCR so this is probably a good wake-up call for us now. 

“It’s done us damage, definitely done us damage. 

“The alignment camp, not having a league match this week, having a nice trip for the guys, and then two weeks to get ready for Edinburgh, it will be fine. 

“And there are nuggets in this performance that sort of show who we are.

“So if I say back in the saddle next week and a URC must win, I think we’d be under more pressure than we are,” he concluded.

 

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