The South African rugby fraternity is unforgiving.
You can be a hero one week and an absolute niks the next day.
That’s why I feel so bad for coach John Dobson and his Stormers.
On the back foot after their embarrassing loss to the Bulls last weekend, I think it’s time to put things in perspective a bit.
This year has been especially cruel to Dobson.
Not only did he lose the experienced Jamie Roberts, Springbok tighthead backup Wilco Louw, superb squad player Cobus Wiese, Dillyn Leyds and Damian de Allende to overseas clubs, but then they also had captain Siya Kolisi and the world’s best rugby player Pieter-Steph du Toit missing from last week’s match.
Okay, I could have left out Doogz.
But that’s the reality – the Stormers are playing with a midfield that is yet to establish themselves at this level.
Add injured wingers Seabelo Senatla and Sergeal Petersen to the mix and you only have Leolin Zas and Edwill van der Merwe, who at the start of the season would have been lucky to warm the bench.
Fullback Warrick Gelant is adjusting to life at his new team, with Damian Willemse still coming to grips with playing flyhalf on the regular.
I have much love for the man, but I also think Herschel Jantjies is battling a bit with second-season syndrome – die manne weet nou van hom and they are planning accordingly.
Take out Kolisi, Du Toit and the depth that left – which would have been useful at Loftus – and it’s clear to see that there are some issues to sort out.
So let’s not be that hard on Dobbo and company after this defeat. The Bulls simply had more experience in key positions.
If at the end of January the Capetonians are still struggling, then perhaps we can start pushing the panic button.