Planet Rugby

Preview: Bulls v Stormers

21st February 2013 22:04

Share:

bulls v stormers 2011 preview

No love lost: Bulls host the Stormers

The age-old north/south derby clash between these two South African heavyweight sides will continue on Friday when the Bulls play host to the Stormers.

The stage is set for another fiery affair that could well and truly go either way at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, as both teams look to kick-off their 2013 campaign with a win.

Buoyed by their 2012 Currie Cup title, the Stormers - with the core of the squad made up of Western Province players who helped win South Africa's domestic championship - will want to add another piece of silverware to the Newlands trophy cabinet.

Indeed, Allister Coetzee's troops will be desperate to throw away their chokers tag after finishing the 2010 season as runners-up to the Bulls before losing two consecutive home semi-finals to the Crusaders and Sharks respectively - meaning the wait for a maiden Super Rugby title goes on.

Quite simply, though, those losses with the finish line in sight will be all the motivation the Stormers will need heading into this campaign.

No strangers to winning Super Rugby tournaments, however, are the Bulls with three titles to their name thus far. By finishing in the top six last year and making the play-offs, the Bulls proved they are still a quality side even without their Bok legends.

The great thing about the Bulls is that they have an inherent hunger and drive that seems to motivate them to achieve great things. This, together with their illustrious history in Super Rugby is why they could very well be the competition's dark horse this season.

"The Bulls will always be in the mix. They are the only South African franchise to have won this competition three times, and they are a very proud team and union," said Coetzee.

"They have a quality pack and we have seen in the pre-season that Morne Steyn is back to his best, both in kicking out of hand and at posts."

The Bulls have also been further strengthened by the appointment of former Springbok and Bulls stalwart Victor Matfield to the Pretoria outfit's management team.

"I definitely think they will be a better side this year, I'd say much better," added Coetzee.

"They have an extra arrow in their quiver this year in the form of Victor Matfield.

"We all know what he has achieved and what expertise he can bring as an attack and line-out coach."

The Stormers came out on top in both their matches against the Bulls in last year's competition, including a rare victory at Loftus. Will lightning strike twice?

Prediction: Tough one! Out of all the games taking place this weekend, this has to be the hardest to call. We expect both teams to go at it hammer and tongs, but we have an inkling the visitors will edge an extremely tight encounter by the skin of their teeth. Stormers by less than five!

The teams:

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Mornè Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouchè, 22 Francois Venter.

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (c), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gerhard van den Heever, 22 Joe Pietersen.

Date: Friday, February 22
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)

  • Super Rugby Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
  • Super Rugby Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
More Super Rugby results
  • Super Rugby Table
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Waratahs1658
2Crusaders1651
3Sharks1650
4Brumbies1645
5Chiefs1644
6Highlanders1642
7Hurricanes1641
8Western Force1640
9Bulls1638
10Blues1637
11Stormers1632
12Lions1631
13Reds1628
14Cheetahs1624
15Melbourne Rebels1621
Australian Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Waratahs1658
2Brumbies1645
3Western Force1640
4Reds1628
5Melbourne Rebels1621
New Zealand Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Crusaders1651
2Chiefs1644
3Highlanders1642
4Hurricanes1641
5Blues1637
South African Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks1650
2Bulls1638
3Stormers1632
4Lions1631
5Cheetahs1624