Upcoming Derbies Are “Non-negotiable” For DHL Stormers


DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson admits that the upcoming derbies against the Hollywoodbets Sharks and Vodacom Bulls are “non-negotiable” as the DHL Stormers look to secure a place in the URC’s top four.

The DHL Stormers sit in seventh place on the URC table but are just four points outside the top four.

“We put ourselves under pressure by having a poor tour and we are still paying the price for that," said Dobson. "We turned the ship around in a sense, but the real test will be over the next two weeks, away against these two teams."

“If we want to secure a top eight spot, if we want to talk about where we play in the play-offs and secure Champions Cup qualification, these are really important games for us."

“All the teams above us, other than the Bulls of course, have to still come to South Africa and there are no easy wins in SA, not at Kings Park, not at Ellis Park, not at Loftus, and not here."

“That log is going to change quite a bit. I think in terms of us and the local derbies and trying to get into the top four, those are very important."

“If you come out of that mini-log on top you can argue you’re the best team in South Africa. We’re under pressure, the Bulls are ahead of us and in good form, so it’ll be a fight for us to retain the SA Shield.”

“The match against the Bulls is important in that respect. There is a four-point gap and any game where you are competing with another team on a log is a potential eight or 10-point swing."

“Irrespective of that game, we are still in a good position to attack for a top four spot, but if we want more than that, both of these games are non-negotiable.”