The Stormers will have to be their best at set-piece time. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Although the Loftus debacle in round one has not entirely been put away as an aberration considering the Stormers overall performances this season, they certainly won’t be caught out again like they were on the opening weekend. Their pre-match preparation will be better, for as much as they don’t want to make excuses, the bus accident en-route to the match certainly had an effect on the overall game. On the field, the Bulls’ line-speed on defence won’t catch them unawares again too, as they would have now prepared accordingly. But with any South African derby, it will be all about the mindset. Who wants it more?

And this is where the Stormers’ hunger will outweigh the Bulls’ desire. Robbie Fleck’s team are acutely aware that it is fast approaching the “win-or-bust” stage. After last week’s surprise defeat to the Brumbies, there is hardly any room to manoeuvre any more. Defeat to the Bulls and their northern rivals are able to put daylight between them and the nearest challengers in the SA Conference.

However, such has been the nature of this topsy-turvy season that a Stormers victory will propel them to the top of the SA Conference.

This contest is going to be trench-warfare stuff with set-piece domination and physicality in the collisions holding the keys to victory.

Eben Etzebeth playing off the bench could be a trump card for the Stormers. The Bok enforcer will get stuck right in. There’s no doubt he has been champing at the bit after a couple of weeks on the sidelines. He also missed the round one clash and will want to show his absence played a major role in the Stormers’ lineout woes on the day.

Newlands is also a fortress for the Stormers. They haven’t lost to the Bulls at home since 2011.


Weekend Argus 

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