Stormers will go ‘full metal jacket’ against Lions

John Dobson. | BackpagePix

John Dobson. | BackpagePix

Published May 21, 2024


Leighton Koopman

The Stormers will go full metal jacket against the Lions and will do everything to secure fifth place in the United Rugby Championship (URC).

Although they will have a break of a week thanks to the finals of the European knockout competitions, it will be all systems go come Monday as they prepare for a spicy South African derby at Cape Town Stadium on June 1.

Both sides have a lot to play for – the Cape side to stay in the hunt for an easier quarter-final, and the Lions to still make it into the top eight of the tournament.

As things stand, it looks like a quarter-final against Glasgow will be on the cards for the former URC champions, which means travelling to Scotland rather than to Limerick (Munster), Dublin (Leinster), or Pretoria (Bulls) to face one of the top three teams.

“The Lions will be a dangerous and desperate team, it’s not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination,” head coach John Dobson said.

“We have a lot to play for but we are not going to tinker with anything, looking at the log. We will go full metal jacket to win that game. We owe it to the people of Cape Town in our last home game of the season.

“I know it’s not much of a motivational thing but the higher we are on the log, theoretically it should be an easier quarter. We were hoping Glasgow would beat them (the Lions) so that there would be nothing in it for them. But they deserve to be in there.”

While Dobson and his coaches will work out a few plans for the derby, he gave his squad the week off to recharge their batteries.

He wants his side to improve on certain areas of their game before they can take on the Joburg pride, who have found their attacking groove late in the season.

The Stormers defended excellently against Connacht, but they slipped up on the attack, lacked discipline, and the line-out and rolling maul were not functioning, and they need to work on that ahead of the final match.

“Our line-out and maul is not where we should be, so that is a technical thing (to fix). Defensively we made the double tackles, but we were not dominating them so our tacklers got trapped in. Against Connacht, we were on a high-tackle warning and not rolling away warning. The penalty count was also too high.

“Defensively, our discipline wasn’t where it should be if we want to make it to the sharp end of the tournament.”