Home Sport Rugby Canes were ‘mean-spirited’ says Stormers coach

Canes were ‘mean-spirited’ says Stormers coach

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“We weren’t happy with that game at all, we weren’t happy with lots of stuff that happened on the field.”

The Stormers’ performance in their Super Rugby opener was beautiful. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, were anything but a sight for sore eyes.

John Dobson’s team kept the New Zealanders scoreless last Saturday as they bagged maximum points and got their 2020 campaign off to a perfect start. What made that performance even better – the tries, the defence, the set-piece and the full-80 effort aside – was how the hosts managed to retain their focus despite a number of niggly contributions by the Hurricanes – contributions that would have frustrated even the calmest of souls. And “niggly” is putting it mildly.

Stormers captain Siya Kolisi was the biggest victim of the Kiwis’ off-the-ball antics. Kolisi left the field with a knee injury in the 24th minute after Canes hooker Ricky Riccitelli tackled him without the ball, an act that will now see Kolisi sidelined for at least six to eight weeks.

“I thought that was a mean-spirited game,” Dobson said.

“That was not good for the tournament going forward. It had nothing to do with the referee. It was very subtle stuff. But after reviewing the game a number of times, we got more and more angry.

“We weren’t happy with that game at all, we weren’t happy with lots of stuff that happened on the field.”

Dobson added that if his Springbok-heavy pack continues to be targeted in Hurricanes style, things could get tough.

“I must say that Jaco Peyper worked really hard in that game. We’ve chatted to (Sanzaar head of referees) Lyndon Bray. I don’t think it was a match-official issue, I thought they were excellent,” Dobson said.

The Stormers next face the Bulls in a massive north-south battle at Newlands on Saturday (5.15 pm kick-off).