Bulls director of rugby Jake White isn’t putting too much stock into the Pretoria side’s two earlier defeats to the Stormers this season.
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White’s Bulls meet John Dobson’s Stormers in the United Rugby Championship (URC) final at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening, and the 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning coach is confident his team has what it takes to come out on top.
Bulls have been better than Stormers over the years
And while the Bulls might not have had much success against the Stormers in this year’s URC campaign, White knows that in recent years they have consistently been the better side.
“We’ve had two losses against them, but had probably eight or nine wins against them in the last two years as well, which have been fantastic,” White said.
“The last game at the Stormers, we had the Bismarck (du Plessis) citing thing, which wasn’t ideal and went on literally right into the warm-up of the game before he was out.
“I had Ruan Nortje and Grobbies (Johan Grobbelaar) at the alignment camp, and then obviously natural, their heads were with the Springboks and thinking how they can get into the Springbok team.
“Marcell Coetzee wasn’t selected and probably felt that he wanted to prove a point in that game – and Elrigh (Louw) as well was at the alignment camp.
“I’m fully confident that this time, having learnt what we learnt the last time; they know now who is in the Bok side, so there’s no more trying to out-do anybody.”
White knows that all the talking ahead of the game will count for little once the players get on the field, however, and much like they did against European giants Leinster, the Bulls have a chance to make history.
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“All this media stuff is lovely for the outsiders and to build up the game, but it’s not for us.
“The message is simple… Every time we’ve had to beat someone, we’ve done it,” White said. “We lost to the Sharks twice, and beat them in the quarter-final. We’ve lost to the Stormers twice…
“They’ve got five World Cup-winning Springboks, and we’ve got none. If people picked a Springbok side tomorrow, we wouldn’t have one guy in the team. My message is boys, it’s a great opportunity for you, so just go out and do it. Every time I’ve sort of challenged you, you’ve won.”
Kick-off is at 19:30.
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