Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Dobson can’t fault Stormers effort in quarterfinal loss against Glasgow

The Glasgow game was a good example of how the Stormers season went as a whole, as they flattered to deceive at various stages.

Stormers director of rugby John Dobson cut a disappointed figure, but he couldn’t fault the effort and fight displayed by his side in their 27-10 loss to Glasgow Warriors in their United Rugby Championship (URC) quarterfinal at Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday night.

It was a battle with the elements for the Stormers as they struggled with the wind and rain, while flyhalf Manie Libbok missed four kicks at goal which didn’t help their efforts.

The Cape side trailed 6-0 at half-time and went into the final 10 minutes in striking range at 13-10 down, but two late tries saw the hosts clinch a solid win in the end, aided by a strange scrum penalty that helped them pull away.

“I am disappointed but I’m proud of the effort, especially in the first half. At 13-10, I thought we had enough in us to close it out. Just a staggering scrum penalty that I didn’t understand and they got on top of us,” explained Dobson.

“I thought they were more effective into the wind than we were. In these conditions, you need to be really good into the wind. We didn’t kick particularly well. We also didn’t play particularly well with the wind.

“So I am disappointed but you can’t fault our physical effort or our staying in the fight. It doesn’t feel like a 27-10 game, but by that stage we were chasing it.”

Good example

The Glasgow game was a good example of how the Stormers season went as a whole as they flattered to deceive at various stages, but ultimately fell short when it really mattered.

“I think this game is a good analogy of our season. If you watched the way the ball bounced in the second half, nothing went our way. I can’t remember one example of when we got really lucky this season, which happens to be fair. It’s how life works,” said Dobson.

“It (the ball) bounced for us in the first season, and last year was pretty even. But a lot went against us this season.

“We also had some erratic maul defence, we probably weren’t on our normal rhythm on attack. But you can’t say we weren’t physically at the races or courageous or lacked effort.”

Slightly undercooked

Dobson also admitted that the tricky traveling conditions left them slightly undercooked heading it the knockout match, and that was something they had to come to terms with.

“We are grateful to be here, but we flew over three days. The first group left on Monday and the last group left on Wednesday night. So you can’t really train and it’s important to train in a week of a quarterfinal,” said Dobson.

“I don’t know if that was why (some of) the guys physically weren’t there or if that was due to Glasgow’s intensity. I felt we dropped off at the back end of the first half, but at the back end of the second half we were there.”