Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer


Dobson thrilled with Stormers depth after Scarlets win

The result was especially impressive considering not a single player in the Stormers team started last season’s final.


Stormers coach John Dobson was absolutely thrilled with the performance of his makeshift team that put Scarlets to the sword with a powerful first half blitz that helped them cruise to a 36-19 win in the United Rugby Championship (URC) on Friday night.

The result was especially impressive considering not a single player in the Stormers team started last season’s final back in June, and they were up against a side that had over 200 international caps between their players.

ALSO READ: All eyes on Stormers young guns as URC returns – ‘They’re going to surprise and delight’

Despite the odds being stacked against them, the youthful Stormers claimed a comfortable result, proving that they have sufficient depth as they prepare for a busy December and January period as the Champions Cup gets under way.

“We had 12 guys in the squad who played their first Currie Cup game last year against the Bulls here,” explained Dobson.

“We took a decision to blood as many guys as we could during this first half of the URC, which is a bit nerve racking at times. But these guys have produced and now we are now sitting in a great position where we have much more depth than I thought we did at the start of the season.

“So I am very pleased with the result and pleased with the fight because they (Scarlets) came at us in the second half.”

Timely reinforcements

The Stormers are set to get almost a whole team of player’s back this week, with the Springboks having concluded their international commitments with a thumping win over England, which will bolster the union going forward.

However they probably won’t make wholesale changes, with some national players likely to be brought back into the mix for their next URC game against the Dragons at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this coming weekend, while other Bok players will likely be rested.

The game is being played in Gqeberha due to the Cape Town Stadium being readied for the SA leg of the Sevens World Series taking place the following weekend.

“I think we will be better (against Dragons). In terms of how we want to play and we have some personnel coming back. So we will probably put out a stronger team,” explained Dobson.

“We will also probably play a bit more like we did in the first half (against Scarlets). With some good tempo and be more direct than we were in the second.”

Stormers captain for the match, Ernst van Rhyn was rewarded for a strong performance leading from the front with the man-of-the-match award and admitted he was proud of his makeshift team.

“We are very happy with the result. We had a lot of guys who hadn’t played rugby in a while. So we just wanted to come out, have some fun and throw the ball around,” said Van Rhyn.

“We knew we had to get a good start. That was the most important thing and that gave us the advantage, getting out of the blocks quickly and giving us the confidence to close out the match.”

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.