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'It was a woeful performance' - 'Awful' Stormers berated despite win

By Simon Thomas
DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson before the United Rugby Championship match between DHL Stormers and Leinster at the DHL Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

DHL Stormers boss John Dobson was left with very mixed emotions following his team’s 44-21 victory over Dragons RFC at Rodney Parade.

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On the one hand, it was their first league win outside of South Africa this season, while picking up maximum points has boosted their play-off prospects.

But in terms of the overall display, he was deeply disappointed, with his team having been trailing 21-16 with just 15 minutes left to play.

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on the race for a top-four spot in the URC standings

With just two games left in the round-robin phase of the United Rugby Championship, Stormers head coach Dobson said his team will be going all out to try and secure a home quarterfinal.

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on the race for a top-four spot in the URC standings

With just two games left in the round-robin phase of the United Rugby Championship, Stormers head coach Dobson said his team will be going all out to try and secure a home quarterfinal.

“I am really unhappy. It was a woeful performance,” he said.

“But I’ve got to look at how much was the Dragons’ amazing pressure and how much was us being poor.

“We were awful, but I’ve got a funny feeling it was caused by the Dragons.

“My word, the final scoreline was probably one of the more unfair ones I’ve seen in rugby.

“I thought we were in a lot of trouble. The Dragons were clever. They had the territory, the possession, the crowd got behind them. The noise was something else.

“For a team that has nothing to play for to produce that, it’s remarkable credit to them. There is real pride in that team. They didn’t deserve 44-21.”

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The Dragons had led 11-10 at the break through a try from flanker Harri Keddie and went back in front just before the hour mark when outstanding Wales No 8 Aaron Wainwright stretched out to the line.

Fixture
United Rugby Championship
Gwent Dragons
21 - 44
Full-time
Stormers
All Stats and Data

“When they got the rumble at 21-16 and that singing was coming down, we thought there was only one winner here,” said Dobson.

“So credit to us for fighting our way out of it.”

Crucially, the Stormers got on top in the scrum in the final quarter, resulting in a yellow card for Dragons prop Rodrigo Martinez, and they capitalised by racking up four tries in the final 15 minutes, with replacement Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu adding a late double to Angelo Davids’ earlier brace.

“I thought in the last ten minutes, you saw what we can do when the game opens,” said Dobson.

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“If we had lost, our season would have ended.

“We are fighting for our lives and we were almost gone.

“I have got really mixed emotions. We have got the points, but we have to be much better.

“We got away with one there, very much so.”

United Rugby Championship

P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Glasgow
16
12
4
0
60
2
Leinster
16
12
4
0
59
3
Munster
16
11
4
1
58
4
Bulls
16
11
5
0
56
5
Stormers
16
10
6
0
50
6
Ulster
16
10
6
0
49
7
Edinburgh
16
11
5
0
48
8
Benetton
16
10
5
1
48
9
Connacht
16
9
7
0
44
10
Lions
16
8
8
0
44
11
Ospreys
16
8
8
0
40
12
Sharks
16
4
12
0
25
13
Cardiff Rugby
16
3
12
1
25
14
Scarlets
16
3
13
0
17
15
Gwent Dragons
16
3
13
0
16
16
Zebre
16
1
14
1
15

As for the whole experience of visiting Newport, Dobson said: “I absolutely love it.

“I love the drive in here, the people, the pie shops. They are such good people here at the Dragons as well.

“Just the name Rodney Parade evokes so much.

“Growing up, I knew what Newport was. This is something that takes you back in a nice way to the old era, the atmosphere, the people and I hope it goes from strength to strength.

“Listen, I think a lot of teams would have also struggled here tonight.”

The Stormers now travel to Galway to take on play-off rivals Connacht next Saturday before concluding the regular season by hosting the Lions in Cape Town.

“I think one more win should get us into the top eight,” said director of rugby Dobson.

 

“I think the defeat to the Ospreys took us out of the home quarter.

Stormers

“We are going to be going away somewhere nasty later.”

Responding to Dobson’s warm words, Dragons coach Dai Flanagan said: “Everyone picks their full strength team when they come to the Parade and there is no coincidence behind that.

“That’s because of our fans and how uncomfortable we make it for away teams and long may that continue.

“This crowd is unbelievable, how they have stuck with us through the hardship of the season, understanding there have been massive financial cuts in Welsh rugby and that they will happen again next year.

“It’s a season where they probably could not have stuck with us. They drive us on really well and we need to give it back to them.”

On the way the game went against the Stormers, he said: “For 65 minutes, we executed everything we had spoken about in the week really well.

“If we can do that physically for 65, why can’t we do it for 75, 80? But, also, losing is a habit like winning is a habit. We need to turn the tide.”

The Dragons now travel to Swansea to take on the Ospreys next weekend before concluding their campaign with a Judgement Day clash with the Scarlets at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“It’s superb for us – two derbies. What a way to finish the season,” said Flanagan.

“We have got nothing to lose and it’s an opportunity to go and express ourselves.”

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Comments

1 Comment
M
Mid 72 days ago

Yes Dobbo, you were absolute crap. Start respecting the ball and possession. If you played rugby instead of basketball against the Ospreys, you would have been n the top two now, not fifth!

If you attractively and entertainingly throw the ball around for 80 minutes and lose, WE DON’T FKN ENJOY IT!

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