STORMERS coach John Dobson is a man on a mission to win the franchise’s first international trophy when they tackle the Bulls at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday at 7.30pm.
Hosting the first ever United Rugby Championship final in the Mother City already brought smiles to the faces of Cape Town’s people – the Stormers’ main goal this term.
But when they take the field against the team’s archrivals the Bulls on Saturday, they can create further history by winning a first international trophy at the franchise.
The closest the Stormers came to winning gold as a franchise was the 2010 Super Rugby final against the same opponents in Soweto – the Bulls won that battle 25-17.
But heading into tomorrow’s clash, it’s the Stormers who have won their last two matches against coach Jake White’s manne – 30-26 at Loftus Versfeld and 19-17 in the Mother City during the round-robin phases of the competition.
Dobson, though, knows it will count for nothing and says of tomorrow’s final: “Talking to the coaches out there, it feels like a normal Stormers versus Bulls game. The pride in that game is so much for us. The trophy is almost incidental. “Neither team would want to see the other raise a trophy. It feels like a Stormers v Bulls match in Cape Town – proper bragging rights …
“There’s so much on this game in terms of history and rivalry.”
He adds of facing Bulls opposite number White: “I was asked if this is the biggest game of my coaching career – for Jake it’s not, he coached and won a World Cup, I’ve got enormous respect [for him].
“For us it feels like a privilege to coach against somebody of his stature. He’s coached all over the world.
“My mission is probably slightly different in that I love and I want to coach Western Province and the Stormers, I want rugby in this region, I grew up here – to me it’s not a coaching contract.
“It’s different, I haven’t travelled the world and I don’t have the track record he has, maybe I bring something different. It is a privilege to go up against a World Cup-winning coach. He’s coached bigger games than this, and this just means the world to me and the team.”
Dobson will name his side for the match today, as the Stormers go in search of a first ever international trophy.
URC final: Stormers vs Bulls
Cape Town Stadium