DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson is looking for his team to continue their outstanding home form on Saturday and book their place in the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup in their maiden season in the competition.
The South African team, who are unbeaten at the DHL Stadium in Cape Town for more than a year, lie fourth in Pool B, three points off the leaders and five points clear of ninth place, ahead of their Round 4 clash with ASM Clermont Auvergne.
“We are looking forward to playing in our conditions and hopefully we can get the point we need,” Dobson said. “For us, it is a privilege to be playing in this competition. We just want to go as far as we can.
“We have had a few away games and have some more coming up, so we have got a responsibility to put on a good game at DHL Stadium and hopefully we can have a say in where the Round of 16 is played.
“We were just trying to stay alive in the competition, but now we are in a position to see if we can influence where we are going to play.”
⛈ @THESTORMERS earned their first #HeinekenChampionsCup away victory with a win against London Irish.
You can watch extended highlights of their match on our YouTube channel 👇
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 15, 2023
Dobson is unlikely to make many changes to the side who gained a 28-14 bonus-point win at London Irish last Sunday, due to limited training time, with the squad having been due back in Cape Town on Tuesday, but he is unconcerned.
“The problem this week is that we will only have one training session,” he said. “Just to be here playing in the Heineken Champions Cup is pinch yourself stuff for us, so we won’t complain.”
The Stormers boss will be seeking an improvement on his side’s display in London despite their five points, after they took their foot off the pedal when Irish were reduced to 13 men.
“I felt that as poor as we were, London Irish just kept the ball and put us under pressure and forced us into ill-discipline and mistakes,” Dobson added. “There is a lot that we can learn around our discipline. Our set-piece was a bit erratic as well; we need to look after the ball better.
“So, it wasn’t the product we wanted to grow our participation in the competition, but we will take the outcome, because they are a really good side.”