Stormers coach John Dobson was impressed by the attitude of the team’s youngsters while being left frustrated by his pack in the win against the Sharks on Sunday.
The Stormers beat the Sharks 21-19 in a competitive encounter at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, which formed part of the SuperHero Sunday friendlies.
Despite the win, Dobson admitted after the game that his side’s performance showed that there are still a few rough edges to sort out before the Vodacom Super Rugby season starts.
‘I think there is a conditioning issue,’ Dobson said.’ A couple of those Springboks were a bit rusty. I didn’t think we worked very hard in the first half as a pack. I was a bit frustrated towards the end of the first half, we just weren’t working the way we should have worked, especially in the forwards.
‘I thought our maul defence was poor. We had a system. But then I put the message on just after the Sharks nearly scored off one and I said to do it and Siya asked what it was. He didn’t know about it. We just need some clarity, we haven’t worked that hard enough with them. I was disappointed with that scrum penalty that we gave away which Mapimpi scored off.
‘The way we finished was nice. It is unlikely any of guys on the field will be starting in the first game. But the way they finished was really impressive.’
Dobson was especially impressed by some of the younger players in the squad including prop Kwenzo Blose, lock David Meihuizen and centre Rikus Pretorius. Dobson also singled out Godlen Masimla for praise after the scrumhalf came off the bench and scored what turned out to be the winning try.
‘It was nice to a see a guy like Kwenzo Blose, we started to get scrum dominance in the second half. David Meihuizen played in the sixth or fifth team at Paarl Boys’ High, he came on against the Sharks last year and caught every lineout. Godlen Masimla, who I talked up a few years ago, showed real hunger when he came on.
‘I tell you, it may not be today or this month or next month, but David Kriel is going to be something exceptional. He did not really show his best today. He played a full 80 on Friday night and he is only 19 years old.’
Herschel Jantjies was one of the stars of the day as the Springbok scored a brace of tries, including a 40-metre intercept. Jantjies did not start the game at his best and had a particularly nervy moment where he gave away a 5m scrum after throwing a wayward pass over the dead-ball line.
‘I told him before the game about second-year syndrome. For a moment, I thought that was coming true,’ Dobson said. ‘He is becoming like a talisman in that side and our job, for the good of the franchise and South African rugby, is to make sure that him and Damian form a real understanding. I think that is the future, potentially. That read for the intercept was brilliant. If he hadn’t done it, it might have been seven points the other way. ‘
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images