Bulls on the road again, while Stormers enjoy URC home comforts

Stormers coach John Dobson is happy to be back at Cape Town Stadium. Picture: Simon King / ProSportsImages / DPPI via AFP)

Stormers coach John Dobson is happy to be back at Cape Town Stadium. Picture: Simon King / ProSportsImages / DPPI via AFP)

Published Mar 19, 2024


The Bulls’ march to the United Rugby Championship playoffs will start overseas following a stop-start couple of months as far as on-field action is concerned .

After a two-week break because of the Six Nations, the Bulls are finally back on the field, with a trip to Wales to face the Dragons in Newport on Saturday, before heading to Ireland to face Leinster in a fixture that could see them move to the top of the URC standings.

The Bulls produced a couple of impressive performances in their last two outings before the break, beating the Lions before an historic victory against their bitter rivals, the Stormers.

The Bulls go into the match against the Dragons four points behind Leinster at the top of standings. With home advantage key when the playoffs come round, they have a massive incentive to produce the goods on their travels over the next two weeks.

“We’ve had a lekker two weeks to take in that big win against the Stormers, but saying that, we used it as good preparation for this tour,” Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee told a press conference on Monday..

“We know every game now is vitally important, and the Dragons are always strong in Newport; before we look at Leinster we look at them first.

“So all the preparations and team selections looking forward were all done for these two weeks, and we’ve reaped a lot of rewards with this.

“I prefer the position we’re in now, where we can chase for a home semi-final or even a final in the future, depending how the season goes,” Coetzee said.

The Stormers, meanwhile, need to make up some ground after they were humbled in Pretoria. They are currently in ninth position, two points behind their eigth-placed Benetton in the playoff positions.

However, they have a string of home games coming up after last playing in the URC in he Mother City in December - they had a Champions Cup clash against the Sale Sharks in January.

On Saturday, the Stormers take on Edinburgh at Cape Town Stadium, and coach John Dobson is ready to embrace the home comforts over the coming weeks with matches against Ulster, La Rochelle, Ospreys and Leinster also on the horizon.

“It’s special to be back at home, because we haven’t played there since the middle of January,” Dobson said.

“I think we are in for a really great autumn series of rugby. Coming up now, we have these two big URC games, then La Rochelle and hopefully another playoff after that. I am really, really pleased with that.”

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