Stormers coach John Dobson says their defeat by the Blues at Newlands is a ‘massive wake-up call’ after their unbeaten start to the season was brought crashing down. DYLAN JACK reports.
The Blues put in possibly their best performance so far to stun the home side and bring their perfect start to the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season to an end.
The visitors were dominant on attack, aided by 35 missed tackles from the Stormers, and disrupted the home side’s set piece, flying to a 20-0 lead in the first half.
Following the game, Dobson bemoaned his team’s lack of character and work rate, adding that it was an important return to reality before they head to Durban to face the Sharks after a bye next week.
‘I thought the Blues were superb,’ Dobson said. ‘They came at us early and got us physically. We didn’t stay in the fight. They deserved the win and the margin of win. I am extremely disappointed with that performance.
‘It is a massive wake-up call. The most disappointing thing was that something we have prided ourselves on is our physicality and you guys have written about our character. Both were absent today. We began to look like victims. We just weren’t working hard enough. We were sliding off tackles and giving them yards on attack.
‘It is a great wake-up call for what becomes a massive game against the Sharks. But we were very disappointed. I am not sure what the Blues said, but in my mind they really hit their straps today.’
Captain Steven Kitshoff said he felt something was off about the team during their warm-up and that showed during the opening 20 minutes of the match.
‘It was not a good warm-up. It felt a bit lethargic. We made a couple of mistakes. The guys weren’t really in the zone. It is something we will have to look at. The first 20 minutes of a Super Rugby game is the most important.
‘The Blues came out more hungry than us and just had us on the back foot. They had an unreal start to the game. We had no answers in the first 20 minutes. We found our feet towards the end of the first half, showed some good moments, scored two tries but we just could not capitalise.
‘We had fought back quite well, but then we slipped a couple of tackles on their wing and they shifted it and scored. That wasn’t great for us. Coming into half time the guys were a bit depressed. The heads were hanging.’
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images