Paul de Wet wants Stormers to be in sync and say bye, bye, bye to Bulls

Stormers scrumhalf Paul de Wet says they will take the game to the Bulls on Saturday. Picture: Shaun Roy / BackpagePix

Stormers scrumhalf Paul de Wet says they will take the game to the Bulls on Saturday. Picture: Shaun Roy / BackpagePix

Published Dec 21, 2023


The Stormers are under no illusion that a highly motivated Bulls lie in wait for them in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship (URC) derby at the Cape Town Stadium (7pm kick-off).

In their last six meetings in the competition, the Bulls have not won once under Jake White, and John Dobson’s former URC champions have beaten them six times so far.

That will be all the motivation the Pretoria team need to turn their fortunes around.

Stormers scrumhalf Paul de Wet has been at the centre of many battles with the Bulls, and he feels their approach won’t change at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

“You can’t get too emotional about this match,” De Wet said.

“Everyone here really wants this win, but we know they will be heavily motivated after those tough encounters we had with them.

“But we are focusing on ourselves and to be better with every game. We have our goals that we want to reach.

“A physical and strong Bulls side awaits us, but they also have this new type of game that they play. It will be a big game, and it’s exactly what we expect.”

According to De Wet, they have small things in their game that are currently prohibiting them from striking the form they are known for, but it won’t take long before they are back in sync.

Judging by how the Bulls have been running rampant against their opponents, the Stormers will have to show and tell on Saturday to counter them.

“Sometimes people do not see that if that one pass stuck, it would’ve meant points for us. The players are aware, though, that we have to be a little bit sharper around that,” he said.

“Everyone also has to take that responsibility to make better decisions. We see things on the field, but it’s just the detail we have to get right individually. We are aware of it as a team.

“As soon as more of those things fall our way, things will improve.

“The flow is getting better. More of our games have been in wetter conditions overseas.”

The win over La Rochelle would have given the Stormers plenty of confidence ahead of this encounter.

They had some fine moments on attack and penetrated the otherwise solid defence, and if only they had taken their opportunities, the score could have been even bigger than the last-gasp 21-20 victory.

“To get a victory against such a strong, good team gives you confidence. Everyone also knows what we have to improve on. A lot of hard work lies ahead as well.

“The guys are positive and we want to rectify what we have been doing wrong,” De Wet said.

“I’ve been very happy to play, and grateful for the game time I’ve received in those wet conditions. It’s a different type of game. To come from4ºC to playing in 30 is a big change.

“You play a different game. Hopefully, we can kick less this weekend and run more with the ball.”