Saturday Star

Stormers’ chance to grab the Bulls by the horns


GIVEN how the Stormers’ last meeting with the Bulls ended, they will surely have a little more motivation to go out and secure a win over Jake White’s team this weekend … not like they ever need a reason to want to do so against their rivals.

Here are three factors that could influence the Rainbow Cup SA match between the Stormers and the Bulls.

Set-piece battle

Always an important area, the set piece, especially the scrums, is one that’s always a battle to look forward to when these sides go up against each other.

Looking at the make-up of both sides’ tight five, the Stormers far outweigh the Bulls when it comes to Springbok representa­tion.

But it doesn’t just come down to how Bok-blessed the hosts are, they are also coming off a solid performanc­e against the Sharks, a game in which Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, and Bongi Mbonambi shone.

If they can do it again in their second Rainbow Cup SA match, the Bulls pack sure are going to have a tough time, not only when they pack down, but also in open play, especially on the ground and in the tight physical contests.

The Van Reenen factor

This week will see Abner van Reenen form the Stormers half-back pairing with Godlen Masimla after Springbok scrum-half Herschel Jantjies didn’t recover in time from the quad contusion he sustained in last week’s clash, while Van Reenen is in for Kade Wolhuter after the young flyhalf ruptured knee ligaments (ACL) last week.

During his starting debut in the Preparatio­n Series, Van Reenen produced a stunning performanc­e as he aced the game management test, kicked at goal flawlessly to contribute 19 points, kicked well out of hand and added great touches on attack.

If he can continue all of that in his second start – combined with a proper shift from his forwards – I don’t see how the Stormers can’t win this one.

Thor’s impact

He may not be a hammer-wielding god, but Duane Vermeulen sure can bring thunder to a rugby field.

His inclusion in the Bulls line-up headlines their changes this week as the World Cup winner returns to the captaincy after being sidelined with a knee injury, and there’s no doubt that he can add a major impact in this contest.

Whether it’s through overall mongrel or breakdown brilliance, the burly No 8 has the ability to influence this game in a big way.


Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-steph du Toit, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 David Meihuizen, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain). Replacemen­ts: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Willie Engelbrech­t, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Cornel Smit, 23 Edwill van der Merwe, 24 Andre-hugo Venter, 25 Adre Smith.

Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp

Replacemen­ts: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 James Verity-amm

 ??  ?? ABNER van Reenen of the Stormers during a Stormers training session. | RYAN WILKISKY Backpagepi­x
ABNER van Reenen of the Stormers during a Stormers training session. | RYAN WILKISKY Backpagepi­x

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