The Vodacom Bulls have a score to settle with the Stormers in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship – but a win over any Cape side will do, says Bulls scrumhalf Keagan Johannes.
Johannes was speaking ahead of Saturday’s north-south derby at Cape Town Stadium, which follows Wednesday’s Currie Cup battle between the Bulls and Western Province in Pretoria.
Like the Stormers, the Bulls are on a five-game winning run in the URC, but the last battle between these two teams went down to the wire. The Stormers scored a 76th-minute try at Loftus Versfeld to snatch a 30-26 victory from the Bulls, despite originally surrendering an 18-point lead built in the first half.
So, the Bulls will be desperate for any advantage, and victory over WP on Wednesday could be just the ticket. The second-placed Bulls will be favourites in midweek against a Province side currently on a five-match losing streak, and having already lost to Gert Smal’s men this season.
“I won’t say we are looking for revenge,” said Johannes while speaking of this week’s duels between bitter rivals. “It is always tough between the Bulls and the Western Province – it is a big derby.
“Victory is always the outcome that we are striving for, and I would definitely say we owe them one.
“We have to win all of our games in the URC as well, so we can’t become lax in one of our remaining games. We must give our best in both matches this week to win.”
He added: “We are in a good streak currently. Every match is a final now – these matches are must-wins if we are to get into the playoffs. We are certainly grafting hard,” said Johannes.
“They [the Stormers] are playing very good rugby at the moment. One of their strengths is that it seems they never set up a ruck. It looks like they keep the ball alive at all times, so to slow down their ball and to dominate them physically will do us well.
“They play a lot of running rugby, but we must just think of what good things they can do. We are also playing good rugby at the moment and we also want to take the fight to them.”