Vodacom Super 14

Stormers to face the music

2010-05-23 22:30
Player 23? (Gallo Images)
Christo Buchner

Johannesburg – Will the Stormers also flounder when they face the Vuvuzela-onslaught at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday?

Bulls captain Victor Matfield admits he never expected the noise of the vuvuzelas to have such an impact in their semi-final against the Crusaders.

The Bulls won 39-24 and have to be considered the favourites to retain their Super 14 crown against the Capetonians. The Stormers beat the Waratahs 25-6 at Newlands.

The intimate atmosphere of the Orlando Stadium, in which the noise of the vuvuzelas is very loud, is something the Bulls have already experienced and it has to offer them a strategic advantage in the final.

Matfield, however, does not believe it’s necessarily the case.

“A final is something different. I think things will be very even and even if we have experienced the atmosphere there, it won’t necessarily be an advantage,” he said.

“Even so, it was amazing to hear the vuvuzelas. You had to experience it on the field. It was out of this world. I haven’t experienced anything like it on a rugby field,” he said.

It is particularly intimidating for the visiting goalkicker to concentrate amidst all the noise. Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant can brace himself so long.

One or two kicks can make the difference in a final and Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn took to the task like a duck to water in Soweto.

The Bulls did their homework well after only just beating the Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria two weeks ago.

“We knew what their strategy would be and we decided to pepper them with high kicks,” said Bulls coach Frans Ludeke.

The tactic worked superbly because the visitors were about as safe under the high ball as money bet on Bafana Bafana to win the World Cup.


Bulls 39:

Tries: Pierre Spies, Zane Kirchner, Fourie du Preez.
Conversions: Morné Steyn (3).
Penalties: Steyn (6).

Crusaders 24:
Tries: Richie McCaw, Sean Maitland, Sam Whitelock.
Conversions: Dan Carter (3).
Penalty: Carter.

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