Dobson: Skills biggest obstacle in bid to evolve

John Dobson (Gallo Images)
John Dobson (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Western Province coach John Dobson believes that while there has been a noticeable change of mindset in the Currie Cup this season, sides do not possess the skill sets required to effectively execute a truly expansive brand of rugby.

Ever since the Springboks bashed their way to a third-place finish at last year's Rugby World Cup, there has been a drive and willingness to see South African rugby evolve.

It could be seen in Super Rugby this year, where the Bulls and Stormers in particular looked to develop new styles, while the Lions have been considered the blue-print in South Africa after three seasons under Johan Ackermann. 

Dobson, in his second season as WP Currie Cup coach, says the difference in intention is noticeable.

"I think more teams are trying to do it, but I think we fundamentally are hampered by our skill sets at the moment," he said from Newlands on Thursday.

"I think there's a genuine will ... everybody is holding up internationally the All Blacks and locally the Lions ... all the teams are trying.

"If you're going to play a game with width then your breakdown skills, your passing skills ... all those fundamentals I think we're lacking there.

"It's very much a work in progress. You can see people wanting to."

The Sharks, says Dobson, are the side who have made the biggest strides this season.

"The team that has probably made the most significant change this year is the Sharks," he said.

"The Bulls were trying last year and were the biggest talking point of last year's Currie Cup ... we've sort of gone in between."

But winning, naturally, is more important than anything. 

Western Province host the Sharks on Saturday having won just once from three matches. They are currently sixth on the nine-team Currie Cup log while the Sharks are top, having won four from four. 

"If we have to kick the ball all day ... we'll do it," said Dobson.

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