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WATCH: Open and honest John Dobson delivers powerful message in interview

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Thursday May 25, 2023

DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson is one of the hottest coaching commodities in international rugby.

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Having turned the Stormers from bridesmaids to champions as they claimed the inaugural United Rugby Championship title, Dobson has brought back belief amongst rugby supporters in the Western Cape.

Now just 48 hours away from hosting a second successive final, the man many feels is a Springbok coach in waiting has opened up on the anxiety he feels in the coach’s box.

 

Speaking to South African broadcasters SuperSport, Dobson said: ‘I get nervous about what selfishly I am about to go through in the coaches box.

‘I don’t mind the warm-up and everything, but then I think, I can’t believe this is going to happen again.

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‘The first half is fine because I start thinking about half-time and what plans we can make. But something just trips in the second half, we can be 27 – 7 up, and I think, well, three tries, and they’ve got us.

‘Then if it gets 27 – 14, it’s happening, it’s definitely happening. Then you start looking at that clock, and for some reason, from minute 61 to 62 takes an hour, and then it just gets worse and worse.

Shifting it back to what is expected of a top-flight rugby coach, Dobson said it simply is not his personality to stay cool, calm and collected, saying: ‘Look, it’s a poor reflection on me, you’re meant to have cold blood, you’re meant to be a tactical genius. I can tell you I am not.’

‘At 72/73 minutes, Rito and Dawie (assistant coaches) start looking and say he is still here. At about 75, it’s very close, and I am gone for a walk, I turn on the showers.

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‘The problem is you can hear the crowd roar, and you realise where the game is. I did that in the final, and I may have done it recently as well.

‘ I just can’t stand the agony, I start obsessing about what happens if we win or lose. Like I am sitting here today thinking it’s too good to be true that we are going to win a second URC, it’s not going to happen to us.

‘Now you’re making me anxious just thinking about it. I am going to try and stay in the coaches’ box the whole game.’ Dobson chuckled in conclusion.

The interview itself is an exceptionally interesting watch and highlights why the Stormers players and staff hold Dobson in such high regard.

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