Who saw this coming after the first four weeks of the URC? THe Stormers host the Bulls in the final this Saturday at the Cape Town Stadium. Shaun Goosen previews.
Stormers v Bulls
Cape Town Stadium
To Win Match (80 Mins)
Stormers 8/10 | Draw 20/1 | Bulls 21/20
Stormers (-1.5) 9/10 | Bulls (+1.5) 9/10
The Stormers and Bulls will have on them the eyes of the rugby world when they face off in the United Rugby Championship final at what is set to be a rain-soaked Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
John Dobson’s side have been outstanding this season, ending up second and currently enjoying a 10-match winning run. Their campaign has also included five wins out of six against fellow South African sides (including a draw), having naturally beaten the Bulls twice already.
The form of the likes of Warrick Gelant and Damian Willemse has been exceptional, with their sparkling offensive performances earning them many plaudits. Unfortunately for them though, Saturday’s game is set to be played in the wet, which will not only blunt this aspect of their game but also spotlight their weakest: the set-piece.
In this regard, it is Jake White’s men who have the upper hand. They’ll look to their lineout for attacking impetus in much the same way they did during their defeat of Leinster, while the tactical kicking displays of their halfbacks have also been good.
The importance of accurate goal-kicking will be key here too, an area Stormers No 10 Manie Libbok struggled with last week after missing two before converting his match-winner. Bulls pivot Chris Smith is dependable enough, but don’t write off a late Morne Steyn cameo from the bench if the match is still tight.
In newly-named Springboks Marcell Coetzee and Deon Fourie, both teams will be a threat on the deck, but the overall result will hinge on the best decision-making and efficiency on the day.
Verdict: Bulls 21/20
Despite having the roar of the home support to contend with, Jake White’s Bulls are a side that know how to win finals. They should come away with the goods in the Cape rain.