Cape Town – Stormers coach John Dobson has demanded improvement from his side despite their unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season.
The Capetonians are currently second on the overall standings after wins over the Hurricanes (27-0, Newlands), Bulls (13-0, Newlands) and Lions (33-30, Ellis Park).
But they scraped past the Lions in Johannesburg last weekend, with a try after the hooter from centre Ruhan Nel helping extend their unbeaten run.
Dobson addressed reporters at the Stormers’ High Performance Centre in Bellville on Tuesday where he lauded the team’s character but challenged them to start playing to their potential.
“Our ball security… we’re just not getting through enough phases. That’s a big thing for us – even at training it’s frustrating me a little bit,” the coach said.
Nel’s last-gasp try at Ellis Park came after the Cape side set up several phases of attack, before the Lions defence finally buckled.
“How we scored that last try (against the Lions) is almost how we want to play. But doing it once in 220 minutes is not enough. So, we’re working very hard on our attack,” Dobson stressed
“I think we did show character, but I’d like us to move beyond character at some stage. Defence is character… scoring a try is character. But we’re overhyped in terms of our processes and how we’re playing at the moment. It’s not on standard. I think this team is capable of better and hopefully Saturday is the start of that journey.”
This Saturday sees the Stormers host the Jaguares in a game that could go a long way in determining the outcome of the South African Conference.
“It’s a very big game for us, in term of the conference, in terms of our pride. We didn’t play particularly well against the Bulls, we played poorly. When we reviewed this one (the Lions win) it was actually worse than we thought – in terms of work ethic, off the ball on attack, on defence… Everything except for set piece… This week we need to get better. This is a critical game for us.”
Dobson added that there were no secrets as to what the Jaguares would bring to the table on Saturday.
“They’re physical, they’re direct and if they get momentum, they’ve got some really big players to take the inside balls… the swing-runners… a couple of really good carriers. It’s a physical battle with the Jaguares, there’s no question.”
Dobson will name his side on Thursday, with Saturday’s clash at Newlands scheduled for 15:05.