Stormers hotsteppers could make it a Blue Saturday for the visitors
CAPE TOWN – This weekend, the Stormers don’t just want to rely on their superior pack and their massive character to get the win, they want to get more rhythm on attack and create space for their steppers as well.
And if they get that right on Saturday, things can get ugly for the Blues...
The Stormers are the only unbeaten team left in the 2020 Super Rugby competition and their run of results so far includes two impressive ones against the Hurricanes and the Bulls.
But while they’re sitting on four-out-of-four, coach John Dobson has reiterated their goal of winning matches with their processes and not just their character, which allowed them to snatch victory from the Lions two weeks ago at Ellis Park.
He was happier with their efforts in their 17-7 win over the Jaguares and attributed that to their early work-ons having gone better at the weekend.
“People asked me why I was happier with the performance against the Jaguares. Our breakdown was really good, we didn’t concede a turnover, and our phase count doubled. At Ellis Park we didn’t have a phase count. We averaged four phases per attack against the Jaguares, it’s still not high enough, we still didn’t get our rhythm going enough, but there are signs,” he said.
“The big thing for me is that our game is designed to create space for our steppers.
“Obviously we want pack dominance, but that’s where we’ve let ourselves down so far, creating space for Damian (Willemse), Sergeal (Petersen) and the like.
“This week we don’t just want to rely on character or on our pack, we want to do more than that. And we’re getting there. That doesn’t mean that the scrum will be any less important...
“The scrum is always going to be an area we want to be the best in, we were disappointed with the last two against the Jaguares,” Dobson said.
“The Blues have quite a few All Blacks up front. I think (hooker James) Parsons is a good scrummager and a good thrower.
“I don’t think it’s great for rugby that you can push a button and get a penalty, but unfortunately those are the rules we’re playing with, so obviously we’ll target that.
“It’s getting a little frustrating. If you dominate me in a tackle, you don’t get a penalty for me being dominated, you know what I mean. You haven’t done anything wrong. Often in a scrum the referee just sees it goes too far ... to me there has to be a blatant collapse.
“The hooker only pulls his head out because he can’t breathe, and that’s not necessarily a penalty. I don’t know why dominance is a penalty. It doesn’t happen anywhere else in the game, so that’s somewhere the game needs looking at. But we’ll use it where we can.”@WynonaLouw