Vodacom Super Rugby
Bulls wary of possible upset
Frans Ludeke (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - In arguably the most important match of the weekend's Super Rugby fixtures, the Stormers will host the Bulls at Newlands in whichthe Bulls, currently top of the standings, can still drop to third, but a win at Newlands will guarantee them first place and home ground advantage in the semi-finals.
For the Stormers, it’s all about pride and that has been the main talking point in Cape Town this week.
For the first 10 years of Super Rugby, the Bulls could not win at Newlands – but that changed in 2006.
Since then they have won at the foot of Table Mountain in 2008 and 2011 as well.
Last year, the Bulls lost in Cape Town, despite outscoring their hosts by two tries to one. But tries won’t matter this weekend, only victory.
It will be tough. In the last three seasons, the Stormers have only lost six home games out of 25, which included two semi-finals.
One of the four teams to win in Cape Town during this time was the Bulls, in 2011.
This year, the Capetonians have only lost one home game.
"A North/South derby is always a big game, it doesn't matter that there's no pressure or that you're playing for academic reasons," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee
“There’s a lot of pride at stake and we want to finish on a high.
"It’s massively important for us to win this weekend.
"We’ve only lost to the Crusaders at home this year and we lost to the Bulls at Newlands in 2011, so we’d like to finish on a high and carry that momentum into the next competition."
The Bulls will be travelling to Cape Town with one goal in mind – and say that they will not worry too much about what’s happening in Auckland and Perth before their match.
"We have one more box to tick to reach our goal of finishing top of the log after regular play," Bulls coach Frans Ludeke
According to Bulls captain, Dewald Potgieter, his team will have to make a step-up in their approach and execution if they want to beat the Stormers and finish the season top of the log.
"We did not react well in certain situations when placed under pressure last weekend and will have to improve on that," said Potgieter in reference to their one-point win over the Sharks last weekend.
"The Stormers have momentum and the home crowd on their side and this being the big North/South derby we will have to front up.
"It is fair to say that this will be our biggest test this season."