Stormers players ’embarrassed’ by Loftus performance

Stormers coach John Dobson said both he and his players are disappointed in their performance against the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Stormers endured a night to forget as they fell 39-6 behind to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, before an incoming thunderstorm caused the game to be abandoned in the 64th minute of play.

Given that the match had progressed beyond half-time, the Bulls were awarded all five points as the match was declared a bonus-point win in their favour.

The Stormers made a bright start to the game, which was deadlocked at 6-6 before the Bulls ruthlessly punished their defensive errors by running in four quick tries before the half-time break.

Speaking in an online press conference after the game, a downcast Dobson credited the Bulls for the way they put his side under pressure, adding that his charges were ’embarrassed’ by their error-ridden first-half performance

‘Credit to the Bulls, they put us under a massive amount of pressure. We just made mistake after mistake,’ Dobson said.

‘They put us under pressure in the air, we lost a lot of those contestables, their maul was really effective. We defended their mauls really poorly. We just made mistake after mistake, that’s the result of being under pressure.

‘I thought our body language was poor, we looked tired up here. When you concede two or three tries in a row the pack takes shots and they looked tired. We were frustrated with our body language.

‘I think we did show some character after half-time, [but] the guys are very disappointed and we were embarrassed, including myself.’

Dobson added that his side was disappointed not to be able to get back onto the park after they were ushered off in the second half, as they were eager to salvage some pride with an improved performance.

‘I thought in the second half our body language was good, we played with much more energy, the guys wanted to get back out there. You must understand, this is a very proud rugby team with some really good players.

‘The players absolutely wanted to get back out there to try and redeem some pride. They set themselves a target for how many tries they wanted to score to redeem pride. It’s a very proud team and we definitely wanted to get back on the field. We feel embarrassed by that scoreline and how we played.’

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack