Jake White expects one other bruising contest between two formidable entrance rows when the DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls lock horns on the brand new pitch at Cape City Stadium.
Saturday’s North-South derby will mark the primary assembly of the native giants on the revamped area since final season’s quarter-finals of the Vodacom URC, which the Stormers received 33-21 within the Mom Metropolis.
The troublesome enjoying floor had been a difficulty throughout Stormers matches for the reason that group moved away from Newlands, and it tore up badly final season, but the scenario has improved as a brand new hybrid pitch – which is 50% artificial and 50% grass – has been relaid.
The Stormers’ first recreation of the 2023-24 marketing campaign at Cape City Stadium was in opposition to French outfit La Rochelle final week within the Champions Cup, an exhilarating 21-20 win for John Dobson’s fees.
Former Stormers scrum plough Wilco Louw will anchor a strong Bulls entrance row as The Herd look to snap a six-game dropping run within the URC in opposition to the hosts, and White is relishing the set-piece problem.
Talking in a Bulls convention on Friday, the director of rugby informed reporters: “The identical floor that the Cape City Stadium has is precisely the identical floor we’ve got now at Loftus, so we’re clearly satisfied that the bottom and floor is what we’re used to..
“I believe each week you’re hoping for a contest at scrum time, each SA aspect. It’s no secret that when [Steven] Kitshoff and [Frans] Malherbe had been dominating SA rugby that they [the Stormers] had individuals anticipating them to be dominant in scrums week in and week out.
“We’ve bought to a scenario now the place we’ve bought Akker van der Merwe, who’s a world hooker; we’ve bought Wilco Louw who’s rated actually extremely as a tighthead prop on this planet of scrummaging.
“After which a man like Gerhard Steenekamp, who got here again from his first Check in opposition to Argentina and was phenomenal within the scrums.
“It’s at all times going to be a contest in South Africa the place your entrance row has to give you the products, and enjoying on a area that we’re now used to I don’t see something that’s going to vary – I see it as two entrance rows going onerous at one another making an attempt to get dominance at scrum time.”
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