Cardiff clash is a must-win for Stormers, says John Dobson
The Stormers are targeting a full house of five points in their final tour game against Cardiff in Wales on Friday night.
Stormers head coach John Dobson says that the team is targeting a full house of points in their final URC tour match against Cardiff in Wales on Friday night. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Gallo Images
Stormers coach John Dobson believes that their United Rugby Championship (URC) clash against Cardiff in Wales on Friday night is vitally important for their season as they prepare to end their overseas tour with a bang.
Having started the season with two good wins in South Africa, against the Lions in Johannesburg and against Scarlets in Stellenbosch, the Stormers have followed that up with three straight losses on tour.
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They were beaten 20-9 by Glasgow Warriors in Scotland, 20-17 by Benetton in Treviso and 10-3 by Munster in Limerick over the past weekend.
They are thus targeting a full house of five points in their final tour game against Cardiff in Wales, with Dobson admitting that a win would put them in a great position.
“We need to win in Cardiff. If we get the win in Cardiff we will be three (wins) from six games, so a 50% win ratio, and with five of those games having been away (from Cape Town) it gives us a good chance to launch at home,” explained Dobson.
“So Friday night is very important for us. It is going to be a pressure filled week and I am sure people will question us having had three losses in a row. But if you delve into it properly there is a lot going on and if we can get the win against Cardiff I think we will be very well positioned.”
The Stormers’ struggles against Munster, who they have now lost to four times in the competition, continued over the past weekend, but it was arguably their best showing on tour and came in dreadful weather conditions.
Dobson said the bonus point picked up for losing by seven points was important for the team as it would put them in a great position if they get the win over Cardiff.
“It (bonus point) is extremely important. If we can get five points (against Cardiff) we will come back (to SA) from tour with seven points, which is one point less than two four point wins. It also places us well with our home games coming up and the South African derbies,” said Dobson.
“So the point is very important and it just makes Friday night even bigger. To come back from tour with two points (if they lose) or come back with seven (if they win with a bonus point), that is a big difference and that’s what makes the game so important.”
Following the Cardiff match the Stormers head back to SA where they will host Zebre, in a game they should get full points from, so should they pick up two bonus point wins over the next two games they will move up the table and back into the top half mix.