“We Were Just Trying To Stay Alive In The Competition” – John Dobson


The DHL Stormers are looking forward to playing at DHL Stadium this weekend as they look to secure a place in the knock-out phase of the Heineken Champions Cup.

Having picked up a bonus-point win on the road against London Irish on Sunday, they are aiming to continue their winning streak at home, which stretches more than a year now, when they take on French side ASM Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.

This will be their only match at DHL Stadium until early March, so Head Coach John Dobson says that the team want to make the most of it and hopefully secure another home game in the round of 16 with a good win against Clermont.

“We are looking forward to playing in our conditions and hopefully we can get the point we need next week. For us it is a privilege to be playing in this competition, we just want to go as far as we can.

“We have had a few away games and have some more coming up so we have got a responsibility to put on a good game at DHL Stadium and hopefully we can have a say in where the round of 16 is played.

“We were just trying to stay alive in the competition, now we are in a position to see if we can influence where we are going to play,” he said.

Dobson is not likely to make too many changes this week given the limited training time they will have in preparation.

“The problem this week is that we will only have one training session. We only get back to Cape Town on Tuesday and we play Clermont on Saturday.

“Just to be here playing in the Heineken Champions Cup is pinch-yourself stuff for us, so we won’t complain,” he said.

While happy with the five points, Dobson said that there is a lot they can improve on after a relatively disappointing performance after London Irish were reduced to 13 men.

“The first half was looking like a pretty good game, I was pretty happy with where we were and we had two teams looking to play good rugby.

“I felt that as poor as we were, London Irish just kept the ball and put us under pressure and forced us into ill-discipline and mistakes. So it wasn’t the product we wanted to grow our participation in the competition, but we will take the outcome because they are a really good side.

“There is a lot that we can learn around our discipline, our set-piece was a bit erratic as well, we need to look after the ball better,” he said.

Flyhalf Manie Libbok is doubtful for the game against the French outfit after suffering a concussion from the head knock which saw London Irish fullback Ben Loader sent off.