Stormers expect their next game to be classic New Zealand vs SA encounter
Coach John Dobson to retain players for Blues clash after 17-7 win over the Jaguares
Top of the table Stormers have no plans to rotate their team and rest players after four successive Super Rugby victories, seeing their next match against the Blues as vital in their bid to keep their winning momentum on track.
“We are going to go full out, it’s massive,” said Stormers coach John Dobson ahead of Saturday’s clash at Newlands, where the Cape Town-based side have won three times already this season and conceded just a single try.
“The Blues always box well here, we know what sort of game it’s going to be. It will be physical, niggly, every cliché you can think of. But they’ve got some real X-factor too and I think it will be a classic SA vs New Zealand game.
“It’s going to be a great game. They are a much better team than their log position suggests,” said Dobson, whose side are the only team to have won all their games so far in the 2020 competition.
The Blues sit third in the New Zealand conference after two victories and two defeats.
“We had a long discussion with the players about this and we are going full metal jacket,” Dobson said. “If we can make it five from five, then we are in a really strong position.”
He said prescribed rest for international players and freshening up his team would have to wait.
“We do have a periodisation plan, but our goal was to try to win our first five matches, especially with four of them at home,” he said. “Then we have a bye and then, theoretically, one or two easier games where we can create opportunities for other players.
“Then, hopefully, we can go on tour in a really good position points wise and won’t be under too much pressure.”
The Stormers travel to New Zealand and Australia only in late April.
“We’ll have Crusaders, Chiefs and Brumbies away, which are not easy games,” the coach added after Saturday’s 17-7 win over the Jaguares, 2019’s runners-up.
“I was much happier with our performance, even though the reasons why might not be all that clear to see. We had to grind it out but I thought our processes were so much better; our set piece was solid, ball retention good.
“I thought in terms of the stuff that we wanted to improve on, we were a quantum leap better.”