Champions Cup: Stormers to stick to their defensive patterns ahead of London Irish clash

Stormers star Ben-Jason Dixon makes a tackle. Credit: Alamy
Stormers star Ben-Jason Dixon makes a tackle. Credit: Alamy

Second-row Ben-Jason Dixon insists that the Stormers are sticking with their defensive structure despite being caught out in their 24-17 loss to Glasgow Warriors last weekend.

The Scottish side attacked from slightly deeper than normal, throwing out the Stormers’ rush defence resulting in 15 clean breaks and ultimately a win over the champions.

Stick to the process

Dixon admits playing against foreign teams is difficult, but he believes in sticking to the process and remaining calm.

“It’s a different challenge playing the overseas teams [and] it’s not the same as playing at home and there are certain things you need to adapt to, like exiting your half and attention to detail,” Dixon said.

“I’m not that young anymore but I’m still a young player, so for some of the young players it’s a new challenge and we feel that when it’s a tighter game … we’re playing away and the other team is not ahead by three tries [yet] we feel under pressure we’ve got to do something crazy, then we go out of system.

“So in the bigger picture, it’s about sticking to our system and just calming down a bit.

“We’ve spent a lot of time in meetings talking about the errors we’ve made, I made some errors myself.

“It’s small errors when we go out of the system, but we have a lot of confidence that our defensive system works and that’s not changing.”

The second-row is a hard-working player who enjoys defending and reiterated that the Stormers would stick to their structures.

“Personally, I love defence, I love making tackles, I love putting the opposition under pressure, and we’re not concerned that there’s something wrong with our defence,” he added.

“We’re focusing on sticking to the plan.”

Versatile

Dixon has had several starts in a row now with Springbok Salmaan Moerat out injured. However, whilst the 24-year-old has shone in the second-row he can also play on the side of the scrum.

“At lock I’m probably feeling the most comfortable, having started the last three games [for the Stormers] and having gone through the details of the last few weeks,” he said.

“But I really enjoy both positions; at flank I really enjoy the freedom and being a part of the play that I wouldn’t get to at lock … I enjoy getting stuck in.

“You can move around, make the hits, defend and attack with creativity. So maybe in the future, I can grow in that position.”

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