Heavy rain has been predicted for Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship final in Cape Town, but for the Stormers it will be business as usual as they prepare for the clash with the Vodacom Bulls. DYLAN JACK reports.
A cold front making landfall in Cape Town on Monday brought with it torrential rain, which could add an extra twist for the URC final between the Stormers and Bulls on Saturday.
The Stormers have utilised the heat of South Africa’s summer to their advantage, lighting the competition up and wearing down their opponents with a high-tempo attack this season.
A 72% chance of rain has been predicted for the 7:30pm kick-off of the grand finale and that may force the Stormers to adopt a more pragmatic approach against a dangerous Bulls pack.
However, speaking to media on Monday, Stormers backline coach Dawie Snyman explained that despite the wet-weather conditions, the Capetonians won’t be veering too far away from the approach which has served them well up to now.
“It’s quite wet until Wednesday and it looks like the rain will come in again on Saturday. We are fortunate enough that we have an opportunity to train in it this week and we are preparing for slippery conditions on Saturday.
“I don’t think it will change anything. We are still a team that will look for opportunities and, wherever we can find them, we will take them. We will have to adjust to the conditions and be clever around it, making sure we get our tactics right.”
One particular area of the game where the Stormers will definitely come under pressure is at the lineout where the Bulls outplayed Leinster in the Dublin semi-final as Ruan Nortje and Walt Steenkamp poached a number of throw-ins.
Stormers veteran Deon Fourie, who came up with the lineout move that produced a try against Ulster, said both he and forwards coach Rito Hlungwani are wary of the Bulls’ threat in this department.
“Finals rugby comes down to doing your basics well. I don’t have anything up the sleeve at the moment. Usually that’s mine and Rito’s thing and we will have to see where the opportunity is.
“The Bulls are really good at lineout time, so the first thing is about winning the ball at the lineout before we can start making plans to get around them or through them. We will sit and see where the opportunity is, but at the moment they are a very, very good contesting side so we have to focus on getting the ball first.”
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