Stormers coach John Dobson says they can only say they’re building a habit of winning if they are successful in their Super Rugby match against the Jaguares at Newlands on Saturday (kick-off 3.05pm).
The Stormers are unbeaten after winning all three of their games this season and keeping the opposition scoreless in two of those outings in Cape Town. While they had to sneak it at the death against the Lions in Johannesburg they succeeded in keeping their ‘games lost’ column empty in 2020.
Dobson has been vocal about the improvements they can still make, and after the Lions game, he said that they aren’t even operating at half their capacity. So, while they’ve been getting the results, he wants them to improve on what they do between kick-off and the final whistle.
“In the context of the results, yes (they’re doing well). But if we look at our performances, no. We did not play particularly well against the Bulls,” Dobson said.
He made specific mention of their performance against the Lions – an encounter during which the Stormers threw away an 18-15 half-time lead before winning the match 33-30 after a late try by Ruhan Nel.
“Often as coaches you look back and review a game and you realise that we weren’t so bad because you get so anxious in the coaches’ box. When we reviewed this one (against the Lions), we realised that we were worse than we thought. The work ethic on attack and defence, everything except for set piece.
“So, we need to get better. This is a critical game for us. If we get over this in an interconference game, then we can say that we are building a habit.”
Dobson added that they’re going to have to do better against the Argentines, mentioning that they need to string together more phases specifically.
“Our ball security we’re just not getting through enough phases. That’s the big thing for us, even at training it’s frustrating me a little bit.
“How we scored that last try against the Lions is almost how we want to play, but doing so once in 220 minutes isn’t enough. So we’re working very hard on our attack.
“The Jaguares are physical, they’re direct and if they get momentum they’ve got some really big runners to take the inside balls. It’s always a physical battle with the Jaguares, there’s no question”
The Stormers currently top the South African conference with 13 points, followed by the Jaguares, who are on 10.