Stormers may hold 007 URC record but Bulls have license to kill

Bulls head coach Jake White

Bulls head coach Jake White. Photo: Phando Jikelo/ANA

Published Feb 27, 2024


The Bulls are gearing up for another dogfight against the Stormers on Saturday as they look to break the unwelcome record the Cape side holds over them in the United Rugby Championship (URC).

By Monday morning, 30 000 tickets had been sold, and it’s expected to be a thriller of a north-south derby in front of a fully packed Loftus Versfeld (kick-off 5.05 pm).

Although the Bulls have not beaten the Stormers in the URC before – they are on a seven-match losing streak – the Pretoria side are keen to change that statistic on Saturday.

Bulls loose forward Marco van Staden says they will not make the mistake of focusing on the Stormers and their streak, but rather on what they must do to change the outcome of the clash and be on the winning side.

The Bulls are currently the leading side in South Africa and sit in third place on the overall URC points table. Their opponents, though, lead the SA Shield as they are unbeaten on home soil.

So, a win for Jake White’s men won’t just break the hoodoo, but they can take command of the SA Shield and widen the gap – it’s five points currently – on the overall log between them and the former URC champions.

“The wins (in the two derbies) over the Lions will definitely give us momentum. You have to take any momentum you get,” Van Staden said.

“It’s been a tough couple of clashes against the Stormers, but we won’t focus on them but on ourselves. The things we do well, we are going to have to do extra well.

“Any derby game in South Africa is always a fight to get over the line. The main focus will be on ourselves to do the basics right and control what we can control.”

Van Staden added that they are gearing up for a big scrum battle with the Stormers, and he is hoping they can carry the momentum gained against the Lions into the battle with the Cape side.

The Bulls will have taken note of the loosehead prop injury troubles in Cape Town, but they will also know that Stormers coach John Dobson and his forwards lieutenant Rito Hlungwani will have made plans for the Bulls’ Bok front rankers.

“A big part of the game is the set piece and the base we can give to our backs – give to guys like Devon (Williams), Canan (Moodie), and Kurt-Lee (Arendse). So, it’s a positive we can take to the Stormers.

“But there is always work to be done and we will see where we can improve ahead of the Stormers (match).”


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