The Hurricanes have fired back at Stormers coach John Dobson after being accused of taking cheap shots during their clash at Newlands this past weekend.
The Stormers claimed a 27-0 bonus-point win on Saturday, but lost captain Siya Kolisi to a knee injury in the process, after the flank took an off-the-ball tackle in the first half.
Following the match, Dobson said that the Hurricanes resorted to dirty tactics and also targeted star players Pieter-Steph du Toit and Seabelo Senatla.
‘I thought that was a mean-spirited game,’ Dobson said. ‘That was not good for the tournament going forward. It had nothing to do with the referee. It was very subtle stuff. But when we reviewed the game a few times, we got more and more angry.’
Speaking from the Hurricanes’ base in Buenos Aires as they prepare to face the Jaguares, assistant coach Chris Gibbes was irritated by Dobson’s comments.
‘I’ve just read the article and it’s blindsided all of us, to be fair,’ Gibbes said. ‘It’s a pretty big glass house there to be honest.’
Gibbes said that their own analysis revealed the Stormers more than played a part in the off-the-ball antics that took place at Newlands.
‘There are a few clips that we’ve looked at – [scrumhalf] TJ [Perenara] getting tackled off the ball, head shots and guys getting their head hit. So I don’t know where he’s coming from with that. He’s entitled to his opinion, but it’s a bit surprising, and a bit disappointing.’
The Hurricanes had two players yellow-carded in the second half. Referee Jaco Peyper sent centre Billy Proctor to the sin bin for cynically blocking Damian Willemse, while Vaea Fifita soon followed him for a dangerous head-high tackle on Scarra Ntubeni.
Gibbes said that while he agreed with the decision to send Proctor off, he could not see why Fifita was shown yellow.
‘Billy’s one we could have controlled, he didn’t need to do that, but Vaea’s one we have looked at a number of times and it doesn’t look [like a yellow card]. It’s Jaco’s decision and we have to live with that.’
Have you signed up to our newsletter? Click here to join the thousands of readers who are part of our newsletter community.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images