Warrick Gelant was voted the Man of the Match after the United Rugby Chzampionship match against the Dragons. Picture: Ashley Crowden/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix
Warrick Gelant was voted the Man of the Match after the United Rugby Chzampionship match against the Dragons. Picture: Ashley Crowden/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

John Dobson happy as Stormers’ immovable defence proves too hot to handle for Dragons

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Oct 16, 2021

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Cape Town - Stormers head coach John Dobson has lauded his team’s physicality in their maiden United Rugby Championship win on Friday night.

In wet conditions in Newport, the Stormers were 10-9 down at half-time, but a strong second half saw them not conceding any points after the break, while wing Leolin Zas’ brace helped them to a 24-10 victory.

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All of the Dragons' points came when the Stormers were down to 14 men after skipper Salmaan Moerat was sin-binned for what was deemed a high tackle in the first half.

The South Africans’ defence, however, was immovable as they halted a few promising attempts at their try line by the Welsh side.

After a struggling start to the new competition, the victory was much needed as the Stormers will now head into a break before returning to action on home soil late November.

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In Round One, they suffered a disappointing defeat against Benetton Treviso, while Round Two stung even more as they squandered an 11-point lead and a superb first half against Irish giants Munster to go on and lose the game. Last week, their game against Edinburgh ended in a 20-all draw.

Speaking after the game, Dobson praised their physicality.

"It was a supreme physical effort," said Dobson after the match.

"I think the Dragons are probably one of the most physical teams in this league, and they have a great pack of forwards. Our belief started to build as we were able to take the forwards' legs out, and I thought we just wanted it more.”

He continued by saying the way their own pack stood up to the Dragons’ - which boasted a large contingent of international players - made him proud.

"I think there are six players in that pack who are in the Wales squad, and I think we had the upper hand there by the end of it,” Dobson said.

"I'm very proud of the effort. It's a tricky place to play, and it's wet and slippery, so we probably lacked a bit of rhythm in some ways, but we'll take it.”

The win no doubt comes as a relief for Dobson, who added that they “needed to get a win on tour”, after a rough start.

Speaking in the build-up to the clash, he said that a winning bonus-point would allow them to feel that they represented well in the first few rounds of the competition.

While the didn’t get that, this victory will do a lot for the Stormers’ confidence heading into the break.

The Stormers will return to action when they host Zebre at Cape Town Stadium on November 27.

@WynonaLouw

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