3 decisive battles in the URC final as history beckons for SA Rugby!

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The Stormers host the Bulls in an ALL-South African final in the United Rugby Championship with history beckoning… these 3 battles will determine the tournaments first-ever champions.

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We’ve seen enough SA derbies for a lifetime in recent years. However this one is very different!

In fact the first of it’s kind in our country, Europe and the world. This is the first-ever URC final and it will be contested with every bit of blood, sweat and tears and that’s just the start. The Stormers and Bulls have one of the most storied rivalries in rugby, they contested a the 2010 Super Rugby final and now they will lock horns, strike thunder and fight to the death for 80 minutes to cement their legacy as the first URC champions.

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The forwards will tussle it out until they can no longer move while the backs will run themselves flat – until it hurts to breath. However, the question is, who is willing to go one step further, that extra metre or moment of scintillating brilliance? We know that these three battles will be crucial in deciding who’s name is engraved on the trophy first…

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THREE DECISIVE BATTLES IN THE URC FINAL

United Rugby Championship (URC) organisers have confirmed the kick-off times for the semi-finals of this season’s tournament. Photo: SA Rugby website

IT’S A FLYHALVES FINAL BETWEEN MANIE LIBBOK AND CHRIS SMITH

Anything is possible, as we have seen so far this tournament. The men from Pretoria left it as late as the 85th minute against the Sharks where Chris Smith was the hero. Striking an injury time drop goal to sink the Sharks well after the hooter had sounded, to win a dramatic quarter-final against the Durbanites.

Then, one week later it was Manie Libbok who converted from the touchline in the 87th minute to secure this very moment… a final in Cape Town between two SA giants. The drama is far from over and tonight’s encounter marks the biggest test of Libbok and Smith’s careers to date. Libbok is the top-scorer with an incredible 161 points while Smith is the tied this top points scorer with 138 points racked up this season.

It’s a red-hot battle of the boot in weather that is expected to be wet and rainy. Meaning the battle of the boots will matter more than ever before. Be it the early tactical exchanges or a match-winning drop-goal or conversion! Both men missed out on the Springbok squad despite truly impressive seasons, so they have a lot to prove to themselves, their franchises, Jaques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus.

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EXUBERANT EIGHTS – EVAN ROOS VS ELRICH LOUW

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Evan Roos produced a Man of the Match performance for the Stormers in the ‘final four’. Photo: Archives

Both Evan Roos and Elrigh Louw have earned deserved call-up’s after having fantastic seasons in the URC.

Roos is surely the find of the season while Louw is not far behind. Both men will lead their franchises from the stats and you can bet they will lead the stats too! They are almost certain to top the tackle count and carries with work rates as high and ferocious as they come. This will get as bruising and physical as you can imagine, tantamount to a wall street brawl or test rugby (pretty much the same thing!)

The man who get’s his side more front foot ball will give his side the advantage – and advantage line in this titanic battle in Cape Town.

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DEON FOURIE VS MARCEL COETZEE ENTER VETERANS BATTLE

Bulls
Marcell Coetzee of the Bulls during the United Rugby Championship match between Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on June 04, 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Fourie will run out for the 100th time. A landmark occasion in more ways than one as he goes into battle with the workhorse that is Coetzee. Both men are excellent fetchers, defenders and ball careers. Coetzee and Fourie have made turn-overs as important as match-winning tries all competition and now they clash against one another at the breakdown. Built lie brick houses but as agile as pro wrestlers, we are in for a clash for the ages.

They will fight with grit until the last minute and beyond. Whichever man wins this battle will play a huge role in determining the first-ever URC Champions.

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