United Rugby Championship

Stormers boss Dobson points to 'supreme physicality' after URC win: 'We wanted it more'

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John Dobson (Getty)
John Dobson (Getty)

The Stormers dished up their best performance of the United Rugby Championship so far on Friday night, relying on their impenetrable defence and immense physicality to manufacture a 24-10 win over Gwent Dragons in Newport.

It is the Stormers' first win of the competition and will surely provide a sigh of relief to coach John Dobson.

The off-field issues currently facing Western Province Rugby are well documented - the union has been placed under administration - but it has also been a difficult period on the field where Dobson's search for an enterprising, entertaining attack hasn't always delivered results.

On this wet night in Newport, however, the win was not about flash or flare but instead grit, power and, as Dobson said after the match, wanting it more.

The Stormers were 10-9 down at half-time, but they did not concede any points in the second half as two Leolin Zas tries got them home.

All of the Dragons' points came when the Stormers were down to 14 men after skipper Salmaan Moerat was sin-binned for a high hit in the first half, but when they had a full side on the field, the Stormers defence could not be moved.

"It was a supreme physical effort," said Dobson after the match.

"I think the Dragons are probably one of the most physical teams in this league, and they have a great pack of forwards. Our belief started to build as we were able to take the forwards' legs [out], and I thought we just wanted it more.

"I think there are six players in that pack who are in the Wales squad, and I think we had the upper hand there by the end of it.

"I'm very proud of the effort. It's a tricky place to play, and it's wet and slippery, so we probably lacked a bit of rhythm in some ways, but we'll take it.

"We needed to get a win on tour."

Dobson said he was "excited" about where his side was going - they have temporarily moved up to 8th position on the URC log - but he also said the upcoming three-week break would be welcomed.

The Stormers are next in action when they host Zebre on 27 November.

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