United Rugby Championship

Stormers coach John Dobson blames ill-discipline, inaccuracy for heavy Lions defeat

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John Dobson (Getty)
John Dobson (Getty)
  • Stormers coach John Dobson felt his team let themselves down with their error rate against the Lions on Saturday.
  • The Stormers were well beaten by the Lions 37-19 in a game where they created plenty of opportunities.
  • The game was the last one for the year for both teams.

Stormers coach John Dobson was astounded by his team error rate in their 37-19 defeat to the Lions in their United Rugby Championship game clash on Saturday.

The Stormers had a surfeit of possession, especially in the second half, but they could not find more than three breaches of the Lions' try line.

Dobson admitted that they were too lateral and they're a far better team than the result suggested.

"We had 15 entries into the 22 where the ball was turned over and that was staggering," Dobson said.

"We had so many calls of 'knock on blue, scrum red' and that was an incredible statistic.

"It's not an excuse ... we made a large amount of errors with the ball we had.

"We're better than this."

The game also had five yellow cards, with the Stormers receiving the first and the last of the game when Salmaan Moerat and Rikus Pretorius both spent time off the field for their indiscretions.

The Lions were also down to 13 men in the first half, an advantage the Stormers used to come back from 10-0 to lead 12-10 through tries from Stefan Ungerer and Seabelo Senatla.

Dobson credited how well the game was managed, but said the discipline from both teams was a problem.

"There was poor discipline from both teams and that is something we're disappointed with because we discussed it before the game," Dobson said.

"In the first 10 to 20 minutes, there were a few incidents that were clearly ill-disciplined and it's not great for rugby when you have these moments.

"I feel our discipline had an effect on the outcome of the game."

While there isn't clarity on when the South African teams will come back to the field after Christmas because of the uncertainty that's come with travelling around the Omicron Covid-19 variant, the Stormers had significant injury worries.

Prop Neethling Fouche suffered a knee injury that Dobson is not too sure about while Warrick Gelant and Scarra Ntubeni came off with head knocks.

"It doesn't look great and he still needs to have scans to his knee, but it looks like an MCL," Dobson said.

"I'm not sure of the grade yet, but Scarra and Warrick just had head knocks, with Scarra failing his head injury assessment."

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