Dobson: Stormers in a great space and we are going for it
CAPE TOWN – There’s absolutely no time to waste. That much was made clear by Stormers coach John Dobson yesterday when he discussed his plans for their Super Rugby opener against the Hurricanes on Saturday (kick-off 3.05pm).
Dobson said they’re going with a full-strength team for the Newlands fixture, and added it’s important that they make the most of their draw.
The Stormers will play their first six games in South Africa - four of those at Newlands - before they travel to Argentina to face the Jaguares.
“We’re in a great space and we’re really excited. The injury roster is good and the guys are excited, we’re going for it,” Dobson said.
“We’re going to go with our strongest team. All our Springboks are available and we’ve got a British & Irish Lion (Jamie Roberts), we’ll use all the international experience we’ve got.
“Three things can possibly work in our favour this season. It’s the last year at Newlands, the draw (playing so many home games at the start) and of course the influence of our Springboks.
“We have to start well, there’s no holding back, so we’ll give our maximum effort and go with our strongest team.”
While it may be rather difficult to anticipate what exactly the Hurricanes will come at the Stormers with, seeing as they have a new coach and with Beauden Barrett having joined the Blues, Dobson shared what he’s expecting the Canes to bring this weekend.
“We know that they’ve got amazing X-factor backs, so we’re anticipating them to play at a tempo and get yards with those big carriers. We’re expecting great line speed and for them to attack our breakdown and to use their X-factor once they get their momentum from those guys.
“I don’t want to use the cliche, but we have literally been focusing on ourselves. The obvious threats to us have been around the breakdown and the momentum of Ben Lam.”
The breakdown would also have been a focus for the Stormers after they struggled a bit in that department in their SuperHero Sunday match against the Sharks.
And while Dobson explained that they’re planning on using their forwards - a number of whom are World Cup winners - to full effect, they’re not planning on holding their potent backline players back.
“We’ll be looking to engage them at forward time. We’re not scared of the tempo, once the game opens up we’ve got magic X-factor. But we do want to engage them at scrum and maul time.”@WynonaLouw