2023 DHL Stormers vs Zebre Parma

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson Laments Cardiff Loss

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson Laments Cardiff Loss

DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson laments his team's latest loss away to Cardiff in the BKT United Rugby Championship as the team returns to Cape Town.

Nov 27, 2023 by Philip Bendon
DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson Laments Cardiff Loss

In the world of rugby, John Dobson often is regarded as one of the most cheerful and optimistic figures. However, his recent dejection signals challenging times for the DHL Stormers. 

After two successful seasons in the BKT URC, where they reached consecutive finals, the team is facing its first significant hurdle - four consecutive losses on the road against the Glasgow Warriors, Benetton, Munster and Cardiff Rugby. 

The recent string of losses has dropped the Stormers to 12th place in the table, prompting a reflective and disappointed Dobson to address the team's performance. 

Speaking after the 31-24 defeat to Cardiff Rugby, he emphasized the need for collective introspection, acknowledging missed opportunities, especially in the games against Benetton and Cardiff. 

Dobson, who entered the match with a positive outlook, citing encouragement from the previous performance against Munster, expressed disappointment in the team's overall poor showing. Despite initially leading 14-0, the Stormers faltered, allowing Cardiff to level the score and secure a dramatic victory with a late try. 

Dobson highlighted the team's shortcomings in various aspects, including scrum put-ins, careless handling and subpar defensive performance. He admitted that the tour's conclusion was far from ideal and emphasized the need for improvement. 

The losing streak has reinforced Dobson's belief that the BKT URC is at its most competitive. He acknowledged the unpredictability of fixtures and the absence of any team pulling away, emphasizing the challenging nature of the competition. 

As the Stormers' theme for the season is to be the hunters, Dobson acknowledges the urgency to turn things around. 

With four losses in five away games, the pressure is on to improve, especially with the team's previous success in the BKT URC. Dobson outlined the minimum target of reaching the semifinals, but he expressed the desire for more, aiming to return to the final. 

Reflecting on a previous defeat at the Arms Park in 2022, Dobson noted its significance as teams targeted the reigning champions. The Stormers now find themselves as a sought-after scalp, adding to the pressure to deliver better performances and reclaim their winning form. 

As the Stormers head home for the next fixture against Zebre Parma, Dobson acknowledges the challenges ahead and emphasizes the team's determination to bounce back from this tough period. The coming weeks will reveal whether the recent struggles will be a temporary setback or a defining moment for the DHL Stormers in the BKT URC.