The Stormers and the Bulls will meet this weekend in a massive clash in Cape Town, as the United Rugby Championship (URC) will crown its first champions this coming Saturday, 18 July 2022. And a feather in the cap for South Africa. No matter what happens, the URC trophy will find a home in the Southern Hemisphere.
A shaky start
The South African franchises ran into some trouble in the first couple of rounds. According to pundits, our teams would have a write-off year and needed time to adjust. However, when the Springboks returned from international duty, the momentum shifted.
Home ground also held more of an advantage in this, the inaugural season. A large majority of players played in unfamiliar locations with a lesser familiarity with conditions. That was especially problematic for the teams that played in the Highveld for the first time.
But now, nine months on, the only two teams who remain standing in the URC are the Stormers and the Bulls.
North vs South
In North-South derbies, there is rarely much to separate the two sides. It’s always tough, and it’s always physical. Although the Stormers have a decent record against the Bulls in Cape Town, this Bulls team will give it everything they’ve got.
Jake White’s side runs deep in Bulls tradition. Not only do they have sleek attacking prowess, but they also have a massive engine room filled with big boys who like to get under your skin.
To combat that, the Stormers have a collective cool composure about them. There’s an element of maturity to John Dobson’s side.
There is, however, no love lost between these two old adversaries.
It’s a rivalry that dates back to the early days of rugby history in South Africa. Cape Town vs Pretoria. Blue and White vs Baba-Blou. And it’s come down to this. Only one can lift the trophy and usher in a new chapter in South African rugby.