Fans: Stormers to edge it
Bryan Habana (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - A slight majority of Sport24 readers have backed the Stormers to beat the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener at Loftus Versfeld.
In last year's corresponding fixture, the Stormers beat the Bulls by five points, winning 19-14 (half-time 11-9) in a tightly contested affair, with Bryan Habana scoring for the Stormers against his former team late in the game.
The Stormers had earlier in the 2012 season beaten the Bulls 20-17 at Newlands to complete a rare double of victories over their Northern rivals in the Super Rugby competition, on their way to becoming champions of the South African Conference.
Both teams have changed their squads, carried injuries into the 2013 competition and made positional and tactical changes, but a majority of Sport24 readers were still confident that the Stormers will continue their recent dominance over the Bulls.
In our online poll, 56% of the readers who voted believed the Stormers would win, while 43% predicted a Bulls victory, with 1% foreseeing a stalemate between the teams.
But readers believed it would be close, with the majority of voters predicting a win by a margin of seven or fewer points.
Sport24 asked: The first SA derby in the 2013 Super Rugby tournament will see the Bulls host the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night. How do you see the match panning out?"
This was the response:
32% - Stormers by 7 or fewer points
27% - Bulls by 7 or fewer points
24% - Stormers by more than 7
16% - Bulls by more than 7
1% - Match drawn...Teams:
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Mornè Mellett
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouchè, 22 Francois VenterStormers:
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Jean de Villiers (captain), 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. Don Armand, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Dewaldt Duvenage, 21. Gerhard van den Heever, 22. Joe PietersenWill history repeat itself, or will the Bulls trump the Stormers' new-look team? (Gallo Images)
Have your say: Who do you think will win the North-South derby? Send your thoughts to Sport24.