Dobson heaps praise on Lions

Date published: October 26 2015

Western Province coach, John Dobson heaped praise on the Lions successful Currie Cup campaign and believes that all South Africa teams should follow the blueprint.

The Lions were crowned Currie Cup champions when they beat Western Province 32-24 and became the first team since the Sharks in 1996 to win the Currie Cup without suffering a single defeat on their way to the title.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann, has taken the team to new heights by introducing a style of play that recorded their best ever Super Rugby season.

Dobson, however feels their style of play should be emulated by all South African teams.

“Over the last three months the Lions played the best style of rugby in South Africa. Their style of rugby, and them going unbeaten through the season, other teams in South Africa need to look at this model and how rugby should be played,” said Dobson.

“The Lions deserve to be the Currie Cup champions, and they deserved to win the match.” 

Although WP launched a superb come back in the second half, they made too many errors and Dobson says it's unexplainable. 

“I can’t explain the errors we made, it was incredible. We left ourselves with two much to do.

Robert du Preez had a disappointing game, making too many errors, which put WP under immense pressure, but Dobson believes that he will improve over time. 

“I feel desperately sorry for Rob, but he is going to be a much better player playing in a Currie Cup final at 21-years-old. He will bounce back. We were looking at what was happening and we thought we should make a sub at halftime, because the guy was having one of those nightmares.

“But half the point of playing Rob in the Currie Cup was to bring him through, and to yank a guy at halftime that would break him even more. It was just one of those days.”

However, the WP mentor believes that despite all the errors, WP gave the Lions numerous opportunities on attack, which in the end led to their down fall. 

“Besides the dropped balls and the poor kicks, we gave them too much momentum on attack,” continued Dobson.

“They have an attack with real ferocity and directness, and we had to man up and get off the line a little quicker. We didn’t get off the line and we gave them momentum, and once they got momentum our defence was under pressure.”

Although there are rumors that Vodacom Cup may be replaced by the Currie Cup, Dobson says that doing so would be a huge mistake, because the competition is a stepping stone for inexperienced players. 

“This is probably the poorest attended Currie Cup final that I can remember. I appreciate that the Springboks and the All Blacks play this evening, but I think South African rugby need to look very carefully at what we are doing to the Currie Cup,” said Dobson.

“It’s a unique competition. Because a lot of guys are going overseas, these guys are going so quickly from Currie Cup to Super Rugby and into the Springbok side. If we are going to keep watering down the Currie Cup, we are going to destroy our own rugby production line.

“We have to look after the Currie Cup. The new Super Rugby format, we can invite some professor from MIT or Stanford and he wouldn’t know how it works. No competition should be judged on teams that don’t play each other.”