Thursday, September 22, 2022
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Stormers to defend title in model

Coach John Dobson is sticking to the plan with which the DHL Stormers performed an thrilling model of rugby en path to clinching the 2022-23 Vodacom United Rugby Championship title. DYLAN JACK experiences.

The Stormers start the second URC season with a house fixture towards Irish outfit Connacht in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

MORE: Dobbo’s Diary: From chasing the crown to sporting the crown

Final season, the Stormers transitioned away from a gameplan oriented primarily round their Springbok-infused pack to at least one that targeted on the pure instincts of playmakers Warrick Gelant, Damian Willemse and Manie Libbok. It paid off, because the Cape City-based staff completed with a optimistic factors distinction of 153, solely Irish groups Munster and Leinster with extra.

Nevertheless, this season they are going to be with out Gelant, who has moved to Paris with Racing 92, whereas Willemse will miss the opening fixtures resulting from a concussion.

“The very quick reply isn’t any,” stated Dobson, when requested if the Stormers are going to alter their method, contemplating the modifications within the squad and strain on them as champions.

“What we discovered final yr, whether or not that was serendipitous or by design, was a sport mannequin that fits us. We’re going to be completely rigidly disciplined about sticking to our sport mannequin and the way we play.

“There shall be no modifications with that. If you happen to have a look at the personnel that we’ve got introduced in, guys like Alapati [Leiua] and [Clayton] Blommetjies.

“Blommes is a counter-attacking 15 like Warrick is, with kicking sport and excessive ball abilities. Alapati is a gamebreaking centre, which may be very very similar to we get with Damian or obtained with Rikus, however he may cowl at 13.

“There are one or two areas we might evolve in, like contestable kicks. We have now misplaced some massive personnel however, as I say, we’re not altering. We’re who we’re and that’s how we’re going to play.”


This isn’t to say that the Stormers are going into the brand new season with any form of cockiness. As Dobson identified throughout a media convention on Wednesday, the Stormers are nicely conscious of how a lot of final season’s success relied on small moments, which might have gone the opposite approach.

“We have now put throughout that the staff must get higher in some areas.

“We have now additionally put final season into context. It was nice for the individuals of Cape City. It was actually vital to us. However we should additionally acknowledge that there have been some actually tight video games. The Bulls produced a incredible efficiency in beating Leinster. Would we’ve got gained in Dublin? In all probability not.

“It wasn’t the coaches’ buddy final season. We had numerous video games taking place to the hooter. It’s credit score to them and their character, how they fought, however no person can recommend for one season that we cruised by means of it or we’ve got cause for backslapping.

“We perceive that and we perceive we’ve got to get higher. Because the cliche goes, we’ve got a goal on our again so we’ve got to get higher. That’s how we prepare and hopefully that’s what we’ll present on Saturday.”

ALSO: ‘Samoan Juggernaut’ to bust partitions for Stormers

Photograph: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix



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