John Dobson admits that Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship final between the Stormers and Vodacom Bulls will be like a “Test match” with plenty of emotion between both teams.
The mind games in the buildup to the URC’s grand final got under way as, during an interview with Cape radio station KFM on Wednesday morning, Stormers coach Dobson threw a couple of barbs at the Bulls.
The Stormers and Bulls faced each other twice during the regular season, with the Capetonians coming out on top in both games, but there was plenty of banter between the two teams in the buildup to each match.
During the interview, Dobson said that there will be lots at stake in Saturday’s final, with former Bulls players Warrick Gelant and Manie Libbok, as well as Damian Willemse – the subject of interest from the Bulls before he extended his contract with Western Province Rugby – carrying a bit of extra motivation into the big game.
“It’s going to be blood and guts,” Dobson said. “It’s going to be like a Test match, a game that will be played with a lot of emotion. Warrick didn’t really make it at the Bulls, Manie didn’t make it at the Bulls and there was an issue between Damian and the Bulls. I don’t think there will be any shortage of emotion in this game.”
Dobson, who has lauded White’s success at the Bulls for “turning them around”, is excited to lock horns with the revered 2007 World Cup winning coach.
“I would love to beat Jake, we would love to beat the Bulls.”
Dobson emphasised how the Stormers have already defied expectation.
“The Stormers were complete write-offs. Before the competition started, we were 100-1 to win it and, after the first week, we were 88-1 and the Bulls were 14-1.
“The Bulls winning the semi-final at Leinster definitely added pressure on us to beat Ulster in the semi-final. When the Bulls won, I messaged the management team and said, ‘This just got serious.’ I think we would have undone a lot of the good we had done this season if the Bulls reached the final and we didn’t get there to meet them.”
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