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'Tells you quite a lot' - Booth on attitude of 3 Ospreys players after CPT boilover

By Simon Thomas
Keiran Williams of Ospreys speaks with Toby Booth, Head Coach of Ospreys, at full-time following the team's victory in the EPCR Challenge Cup match between Ospreys and USAP at Stadium on January 12, 2024 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images)

For the Ospreys, the big goal this season has been to earn respect and they will certainly have done just that with their stunning 27-21 bonus point victory over the DHL Stormers in Cape Town.


It goes down as one of the finest results in the Welsh region’s 20-year history, given the Stormers have been BKT URC finalists for the past two years and considering how hard they are to beat in their own back yard.

The Ospreys became only the third team – after the Emirates Lions and Munster Rugby – to record a league victory in Cape Town, while it was just the second Welsh win in South Africa in the three seasons of the expanded 16-team competition.

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on his team’s defeat to Ospreys in Cape Town

Stormers head coach John Dobson admitted that he received a big “wake-up” call in what was arguably the Stormers’ “worst performance” in the United Rugby Championship since the competition began in 2021.

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on his team’s defeat to Ospreys in Cape Town

Stormers head coach John Dobson admitted that he received a big “wake-up” call in what was arguably the Stormers’ “worst performance” in the United Rugby Championship since the competition began in 2021.

It’s also a result which has given their play-off hopes a huge boost, keeping them in seventh spot with four rounds of matches left to play.

It was a famous and thoroughly deserved triumph built upon mighty scrummaging, heroic defence and taking their chances in attack, with Luke Morgan crossing twice out wide and forwards Sam Parry and Harri Deaves forcing their way over from close range after sustained collective carrying.

Match Summary

Penalty Goals
Drop Goals
Line Breaks
Turnovers Lost
Turnovers Won

Delighted head coach Toby Booth said: “We talked a lot about what we wanted this season to look like and one of the phrases the players came up with is they wanted to earn respect and I think performances like that help everyone involved in the camp earn some respect.

“It was a really great reflection of an unbelievable group.

“I am so proud to be here talking about a team that has so much resilience and so much ability to find a way in difficult moments. They have got big hearts.


“When we talk about finding a way, often it’s built on competitiveness, heart, energy, a never-say-die attitude. We are a good team when our backs are up against the wall, for sure. That comes from a group that cares about each other a lot and are prepared to do things that take no talent, because those are the things that get it done – and it got it done.

“I thought it was quite ironic that the three players I spoke to as they came off were disappointed that the Stormers got a losing bonus point at the death. That probably tells you quite a lot.”

Booth added: “The Stormers are an unbelievable team, especially here. We had to find a way to hang in there and win key moments and we did that enough.

“I can’t speak highly enough for the guys because they are the ones out there. They have to go and do it and they did it brilliantly.


“It was quite an excited changing room after the game, with a lot of emotion kicking around. You have got to enjoy these moments.

“I am very proud to sit here and be the leader of this team, but they should be equally proud of the amount of respect they are earning for themselves.”

Adding his assessment on a game played in front of a 15,829 crowd, Player of the Match Morgan Morris said:

“I don’t think many teams win here, so it’s an incredible achievement for us. Everyone put in a shift. Every game, we fight to the end for each other.”

The Ospreys now head up to Pretoria to take on the Vodacom Bulls, with fit-again hooker Dewi Lake set to be available to bolster their ranks along with fellow international forwards Justin Tipuric and Gareth Thomas.



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Diarmid 9 hours ago
Players and referees must cut out worrying trend in rugby – Andy Goode

The guy had just beasted himself in a scrum and the blood hadn't yet returned to his head when he was pushed into a team mate. He took his weight off his left foot precisely at the moment he was shoved and dropped to the floor when seemingly trying to avoid stepping on Hyron Andrews’ foot. I don't think he was trying to milk a penalty, I think he was knackered but still switched on enough to avoid planting 120kgs on the dorsum of his second row’s foot. To effectively “police” such incidents with a (noble) view to eradicating play acting in rugby, yet more video would need to be reviewed in real time, which is not in the interest of the game as a sporting spectacle. I would far rather see Farrell penalised for interfering with the refereeing of the game. Perhaps he was right to be frustrated, he was much closer to the action than the only camera angle I've seen, however his vocal objection to Rodd’s falling over doesn't legitimately fall into the captain's role as the mouthpiece of his team - he should have kept his frustration to himself, that's one of the pillars of rugby union. I appreciate that he was within his rights to communicate with the referee as captain but he didn't do this, he moaned and attempted to sway the decision by directing his complaint to the player rather than the ref. Rugby needs to look closely at the message it wants to send to young players and amateur grassroots rugby. The best way to do this would be to apply the laws as they are written and edit them where the written laws no longer apply. If this means deleting laws such as ‘the put in to the scrum must be straight”, so be it. Likewise, if it is no longer necessary to respect the referee’s decision without questioning it or pre-emptively attempting to sway it (including by diving or by shouting and gesticulating) then this behaviour should be embraced (and commercialised). Otherwise any reference to respecting the referee should be deleted from the laws. You have to start somewhere to maintain the values of rugby and the best place to start would be giving a penalty and a warning against the offending player, followed by a yellow card the next time. People like Farrell would rapidly learn to keep quiet and let their skills do the talking.

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