Cape Town – Stormers coach John Dobson has hit out at the Hurricanes’ tactics following an ill-tempered Super Rugby match at Newlands over the weekend.
The Stormers’ 27-0 victory was blighted by several off-the-ball niggles and the Cape side’s mentor was not happy after reviewing the contest.
The biggest news to come out of the game was the first half knee injury suffered by Stormers captain Siya Kolisi following a late hit from Hurricanes hooker Ricky Riccitelli.
While addressing reporters at the Stormers’ High Performance Centre in Bellville on Tuesday, Dobson confirmed that Kolisi has suffered Grade 3 medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear.
“Siya is unfortunately going to be out for – at best – six to eight weeks. He saw a specialist yesterday,” Dobson said, while adding that the Springbok captain would not require surgery.
The Stormers also lost hooker Bongi Mbonambi to a hamstring injury and Dobson confirmed that the Bok No 2 would not be available for this weekend’s home game against the Bulls.
“Bongi’s looking better than we thought. He won’t play this week… and he’s going to be out for the two to six week range,” the coach added.
But Dobson made it clear that he was upset by the tactics employed by the New Zealanders on the day.
“I thought that was a mean-spirited game. It was not good for the tournament going forward… it was very subtle stuff, but when we reviewed the game a few times we were more and more angry,” Dobson said.
Hurricanes centre Billy Proctor saw yellow early in the second half for a dangerous hit on Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse and 11 minutes later loose forward Vaea Fifita was sin-binned for a shoulder charge on replacement Stormers hooker Scarra Ntubeni.
Television cameras also caught flank Du’Plessis Kirifi applying fingers to Stormers counterpart Pieter-Steph du Toit’s face during a ‘tussle’.
“I think Pieter-Steph went through quite a hard time… there was one movement where Seabelo Senatla’s hair is pulled twice. We weren’t happy with that game at all, lots of stuff happened on the field.
“They (the Hurricanes) are a good team so it was disappointing. You know, we’ve got Pieter-Steph du Toit who’s the world player of the year and if the way of dealing with that is through cheap shots then it’s a problem. I don’t think it’s good for rugby, to be honest.”
Dobson however stressed that he was not upset at the standard of refereeing.
“I’ve got to say that Jaco Peyper worked very hard in that game. Riccitelli has apologised to Siya, but I think it’s fair to say that Siya’s not happy either.
“If that becomes the trend then I’d be very worried because I don’t think that was a very nice game of rugby. We have chatted to Lyndon Bray (SANZAAR referees boss), but I don’t think it was a match official issue… they were excellent.”