Stormers head coach John Dobson highlighted some of the areas the Springboks can look to exploit when they face the British & Irish Lions in the first of the Test series next Saturday.
Dobson was speaking after his Stormers side suffered a 49-3 loss to the Lions in Cape Town on Saturday evening. The Stormers were competitive in the first half, but could not make their opportunities count and eventually ran out of steam, with the tourists scoring three tries in the final 13 minutes.
The result meant that none of the Lions, Sharks or Stormers have managed to get to within 40 points of beating the Lions. However, a South Africa A side coached by Rassie Erasmus featuring several senior Springboks did manage to land an early blow before the Test series by claiming a 17-13 victory on Wednesday, the Lions only defeat of their tour so far.
During the post-match press conference on Saturday, Dobson was asked what advice he would be giving the Springboks, with just under a week to go until the three-Test series gets underway.
“Even we as the Stormers – fielding a provincial ‘B’ team against an international selection – I think we got some maul return. That would be an area.
“At scrum time, it was Leon Lyons’ first start at this level for a while and JJ Kotze I don’t think is a household name. I think we did really well at scrum time and got a scrum penalty or two.
“Those are the things we saw on Wednesday night. That’s probably the areas you want to be focusing in. We didn’t execute all our contestables as we would have liked, but I think there’s an opportunity there.
“I think the Springboks are very, very much on the right track. As we got more tired, we slowed down our linespeed and we kicked poorly, whether it was a contestable or a distance kick, and against that back three it’s really hard to defend. So the Springboks will have to plug on with their contestable plan, which I think we even got some rewards from.
“The Springboks are on the right track, but you have to be accurate against these chaps.”
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images