Super Rugby Unlocked: Bulls vs Stormers
The Bulls will be eager to dominate the unbeaten Stormers when they visit fortress Loftus and have selected a beefed up pack for the task.
Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane comes into the starting lineup after getting a few minutes in the second half of the Bulls thumping of the Sharks.
Hardworking monster lock Ruan Nortje also comes in to give the Bulls that abrasive quality in the tight-loose.
The Stormers will be without skipper Siya Kolisi who has sustained a hamstring strain and will be led by another Springbok prop in Steven Kitshoff.
Stormers coach John Dobson is relishing the prospect of being part of one of South African rugby’s great rivalries.
“This match is one of the highlights on the South African rugby calendar, so we are looking forward to taking on that challenge this weekend,” said Dobson.
Stormers vs Bulls: Relive Super Rugby Unlocked action here
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Bulls 39-6 Stormers: report
The Bulls and Stormers clash was billed as a Test match quality encounter and that is how it started.
The teams traded penalties early on with the Bulls taking the lead before the Stormers edged in front 6-3, but crucially they immediately presented Morne Steyn and opportunity to level the scores.
When the Bulls turned down a shot at goal they knew they had to make it count and after winning another they set up a lineout from which they mauled over for Johan Grobelaar to score the game’s first try.
The Bulls then thrived on some broken play and with advantage on their side Stedman Gans crossed after an amazing pass from Steyn.
Gans was involved again moments later after a Kurt-Lee Arendse break, it was the centre’s offload that allowed Ivan van Zyl to trot in for the Bulls third.
Steyn produced some wonderful number ten play just a few minutes before halftime to set Ruan Nortje in for a try under the sticks. Steyn chipped and gathered before finding the lock with a slick pass.
The Bulls flyhalf missed to kicks in the first half but made up for that with superb play and 12 points from his boot.
After the break, the Bulls started with a measured temp but picked things up soon enough with a massive rolling maul that allowed Steyn to chip ahead and Gans to run onto it and score his second try.
The Stormers tried to mount a comeback but were disjointed in attack and couldn’t find a way through.
With 16 minutes to go the referee took the players off with a thunderstorm nearby. The match did not restart and the Bulls were awarded a 39-6 victory.
Gans was named man of the match and the Bulls moved back to the top of the Super Rugby Unlocked table.
Super Rugby Unlocked: Teams
Bulls XV: 15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.
Stormers XV: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 David Meihuizen, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Ben-Jason Dixon, 23 Godlen Masimla, 24 Tim Swiel, 25 Angelo Davids, 26 Tristan Leyds.
Match information – Bulls vs Stormers
Date: Saturday 31 October
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Stuart Berry
Television Match Official: Jaco Peyper
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby