Stormers vs Bulls

The traditional North vs South derby always produces titanic clashes that are generally dominated by the forwards. The Bulls will be bolstered by the return of Captain Duane Vermeulen from injury and they have picked Springbok Morne Steyn at flyhalf. These alterations certainly strengthen the Bulls and also tell us there will be lots of kicking from them with Steyn in the 10 jersey. The Stormers have lost a couple of players to suspensions and Ruhan Nel is away on Blitzbokke duties. The home team will be using their Springbok front row to dominate the weaker Bulls scrum that is missing their Springbok props. In the last match the Stormers raced into a 17-0 lead before their ill-discipline allowed the Sharks back in the match. They will need to be better disciplined because Steyn will punish them with his accurate boot. The Stormers have great attacking players in the backline like Damian Willemse and Sergeal Peterson and if Herschel Jantjies gets good service to them then the Bulls will struggle to contain them. Having lost their first match at home the Stormers will be the more desperate side and this could see them over the line. World player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit made his return but was quite by his usual standards and no doubt will be better this week. The surprise of the first round was the performance of Nama Xaba as the flanker was involved in everything from mauls to winning turnover ball and making darting runs. He will hope to continue that form against a notoriously strong Bulls pack.

TIP: Both these teams are far from full strength but this will give a good test to their squad depth. The Stormers look to have the edge in the forwards and will hope to use this advantage to unleash their pacy backline. Last week we saw that the Bulls were struggling against the Lions until the introduction of Steyn changed the complexion of the match. He deserves his starting berth and we know both these teams kick a lot and back their defence to keep teams out. The team that is better disciplined will win this clash therefore I’m tipping the Stormers to win as they would have learnt from their indiscretions that cost them their game last week. The best odds on the Stormers victory is at Worldsportsbetting 1.90, Playabets 1.73 and Sunbet 1.70

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Stormers vs Bulls

  • Bulls have won three out of the last five encounters between the sides.
  • The last seven matches have seen the home side victorious.
  • The last time the Bulls beat the Stormers in Cape Town was in 2011.

Latest results for both teams

The Stormers lost their last game against the Sharks 33-30 while the Bulls beat the Lions 21-9 in their last game.

PREDICTION

Any team that loses their first two home games will struggle to reach the playoffs therefore the Stormers will come out firing to prevent this from happening. The Stormers looked great in the first half against the Sharks and will look to repeat that performance this week. They will want to move the big Bulls pack around so that that will mean them adopting a running game plan which I think will work. The Bulls struggled for long periods against the Lions and didn’t have that cutting edge therefore I predict the Stormers to win a tight contest by less than 6 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

Stormers

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Zeolin Zas, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos , 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).

Bulls

15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tanbwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Stormers victory are as follows.

Worldsportsbetting 1.90

Playabets 1.73

Sunbet 1.70

Odds comparison on a Stormers handicap victory

The complete odds on the Stormers handicap victory are as follows:

Sunbet (-2.5) 1.92

Playabets (-1.5) 1.86

Predictions and Odds in details

The return of Duane Vermeulen would normally be enough to sway the match towards the Bulls but he may not be at his best after a long injury lay off and may need sometime before he is back to his best. Both these teams pride themselves on their miserly defence so I expect points to be at a premium in this match. The Stormers will look to win penalties at scrum time and then convert them into points. The rolling maul will be an interesting tussle as both teams view this as a major attacking weapon but this match will be decided by the team that can better defend the maul and I would say the Stormers have the better overall defence therefore I suggest the Stormers to cover the handicap and win this match. The best odds on the Stormers handicap victory are at Sunbet (-2.5) 1.92 and Playabets  (-1.5) 1.86

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