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Bulls URC final player ratings: Kurt-Lee Arendse supreme in the air, but forwards needed to disrupt Stormers breakdown

The Stormers’ Damien Willemse and Bulls’ Kurt- Lee Arendse jumps for the high ball in the URC Final. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

The Stormers’ Damien Willemse and Bulls’ Kurt- Lee Arendse jumps for the high ball in the URC Final. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 18, 2022

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It was a titanic struggle at the Cape Town Stadium, but the Stormers weathered the early onslaught from the Bulls to pull off an 18-13 triumph to clinch the United Rugby Championship title.

Here is how we rated the Bulls…

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Kurt-Lee Arendse: 8/10

The Bulls fullback never stopped working. He fielded high-ball after high-ball, despite not being the biggest guy on the pitch, and tried to spark a number of counter-attacks. But he was closely marked by the Stormers defence all night long.

Canan Moodie: 6

Also contributed to handling the Stormers bombs, but seldom got a chance to showcase his athletic attributes with ball-in-hand.

Cornal Hendricks: 5

Loses a point for conceding a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Ruhan Nel, although it was a tough call as he appeared to make contact with the shoulder first. Tried hard to get the Bulls attack going, and defended well.

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Harold Vorster: 8

Made a terrific start with a well-taken try, and was a threat with ball-in-hand throughout the match. Was a powerful presence on defence too.

Madosh Tambwe: 7

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Had a couple of thrilling runs on attack, and covered the back-field well as the Stormers launched kick after kick.

Chris Smith: 6

Was solid without being spectacular this time around. Slotted his goal-kicks, but perhaps should have engineered a couple of drop-goal opportunities in such a tight game.

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Zak Burger: 8

Kept the Bulls moving forward with a number of well-weighted box-kicks, which allowed his wings to contest the ball in the air. But Burger should also have put a few kicks into touch so that the Bulls could contest the lineouts.

Elrigh Louw: 6

Threw his big frame around the pitch, but didn’t make any serious inroads into the Stormers defence with his carries.

Arno Botha: 7

Had a fitting farewell outing for the Bulls. Carried hard, was always in support of the ball-carrier and hit rucks too.

Marcell Coetzee (captain): 6

After being such a force in the semi-final against Leinster, Coetzee wasn’t as prominent this time around, especially on attack. Maybe could also have disrupted the Stormers breakdown a bit more.

Ruan Nortje: 6

Was solid in the lineouts and put a solid shift in by doing the hard yards.

Walt Steenkamp: 7

Really added some grunt to the Bulls’ physical effort, and was safe in the lineouts.

Mornay Smith: 6

Had an even scrum battle with Steven Kitshoff, and got a few passes away on attack too.

Johan Grobbelaar: 7

Started like a house on fire as he made good metres with ball-in-hand and found his lineout jumpers, and delivered a superb offload to set up Vorster’s early try. Wasn’t quite able to win those breakdown turnovers and penalties like he did against Leinster.

Gerhard Steenekamp: 6

Had a good outing against Frans Malherbe in the scrums, and cleaned out the rucks with venom.

Best of the Bench: Janko Swanepoel: 7

Put in some big hits in defence and tried to put pressure on the Stormers attack.

@ashfakmohamed

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