It was another bad day at the office on the road for the Stormers, which is unfortunately becoming a bit of a trend for the United Rugby Championship (URC) defending champs after they were pipped 24-17 by Glasgow Warriors on Sunday afternoon.
It was a breathtaking match, full of exciting running rugby and it was unfortunate that there had to be a loser in the end, but the Stormers will be very disappointed to have lost a game they were well in with a chance of winning for most of the match.
Although they have an unblemished home record this season, on tour against European sides the Stormers now sit with one win, one draw and two losses from their four games, which clearly shows their struggles on the road.
Against Glasgow it was also an almost full strength Stormers team that played in the match, but they were still undone by the home team in the end.
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“It was just a very bad day at the office against a team that’s really on a roll. They went deep to get around us. They executed really well against our line speed,” explained Stormers coach John Dobson after the match.
“They carried well and we were very poor at making double tackles and slowing the ball down. Their ball was too fast.
“We have to give them credit, they knew we were going to come with our line speed and they got around us.”
Off day for Libbok
Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok, usually their go-to man and dead-eye from the kicking tee, also had an off night with the boot, missing three kicks at goal which cost the team seven points.
Two of those kicks would also have been considered bread and butter for Libbok, but Dobson did not want to blame his pivot who he claimed had won a lot of games for the team.
“There was a swirling wind and it got wetter and wetter during the game. But yes, I’m surprised Manie missed those kicks. He’s won us a lot of games with his boot, so it just maybe wasn’t his day,” said Dobson.
Another consideration to take into account is the strain that the growing travel debacle is having on South African players, with 40+ hour flights in economy class making for disruptive build-ups to away games, but Dobson did not want to play the blame game.
“I’m not going to blame the travel. Maybe with more training time we could have been a bit better with our exits. We were really poor in exiting our own half,” said Dobson.