Super Rugby

Stormers coach Dobson hopes 'magnificent' Willemse can start 'silencing the haters'

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Damian Willemse (Gallo)
Damian Willemse (Gallo)

Stormers coach John Dobson has praised the performance of flyhalf Damian Willemse following Saturday night's 30-13 win over the Cheetahs.

In what was possibly his most complete performance of the season so far, the 22-year-old Willemse pulled the strings for the Stormers from start to finish, scoring 15 points on the night - three conversions, two penalties and a 45m drop goal. 

Even more pleasing, though, was Willemse's game management. His kicking out of hand was intelligent and accurate, his defence was sound and his distribution crisp. 

His assist to Warrick Gelant for the Stormers' third and final try on the night after slicing through the Cheetahs defence was perhaps the clearest example of why Willemse comes so highly rated. 

Speaking after the match, Dobson hailed Willemse's performance as "magnificent". 

"The graph over the last three weeks has been steadily upwards," Dobson said of his playmaker.

"Hopefully, slowly, we can silence the haters because I thought he was really magnificent tonight.

"His game control was great. That was a really tough game and probably the most physical we've played this year ... so to have him [Willemse] in that sort of pressure and performing like that made me very happy."

Dobson was also pleased with the overall improvement his side had shown since they were smashed 39-6 by the Bulls at Loftus two weekends ago.

"Hopefully today we showed that we are on the right trajectory," said Dobson.

"We want to control games with territory, and I think Damian has made massive progress, but we want to score tries that suit Western Province and Stormers rugby and make people smile and I think we did that as well."

The Stormers' final match of the Super Rugby Unlocked campaign will be against the Sharks in Durban next weekend. 

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