Vermeulen, Nyakane to boost Bulls against Stormers

Bulls director of rugby Jake White says he expects a ‘hurting’ Stormers side to be fired up for Saturday’s north-south derby in Cape Town.

The Stormers started their Rainbow Cup SA campaign with a 33-30 loss to the Sharks at Cape Town Stadium, during which the home side let a 17-point lead slip as the Sharks scored four tries in a 14-minute period.

John Dobson’s side also experienced disciplinary problems as Seabelo Senatla and Willie Engelbrecht were red-carded, while centre Ruhan Nel had the opportunity to win the game in the final play but knocked the ball on in the process of trying to ground it over the tryline.

The Bulls, meanwhile, had a solid start with a 22-9 win over the Lions in Pretoria. Even though their play did not quite reach the heights of last season’s Currie Cup, the Bulls were still able to close out the victory.

However, White’s team will on Saturday take on the Stormers and the Bulls coach has no doubts that the hosts will be eager to bounce back from their disappointing loss.

‘I think now that they’ve lost, I think they are going to be fired up,’ White said. ‘North-south derbies are always tough, anyway. Can you imagine on the rebound of what they’ve gone through today – a couple of red cards, and an opportunity to win the game at the death?

‘I can imagine that they would maybe be hurting and that they’d want to do well.

‘They scored three tries against the Sharks, and could have scored at the death there as well. Having played 40 minutes with 14 men, it’s not a bad return based on the fact that they, you know, as I said they had to play with less numbers for a long period of that game.’

White said he expects to be boosted by the availability of captain Duane Vermeulen and Springbok tighthead prop Trevor Nyakane for this weekend’s match.

‘Hopefully, we’ll get Trevor and Duane back this week. Then a couple of other guys are nearly there. So, we will have a look at the combinations and see what we think is the best to go and obviously challenge the Stormers.’

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images