Super Rugby

Stormers wary of Steyn-factor

Morne Steyn (Gallo Images)
Morne Steyn (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Stormers are wary of veteran flyhalf Morne Steyn ahead of Saturday's South African Super Rugby derby against the Bulls at Newlands.

Kick-off is at 17:15.

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The 35-year-old, who has rejoined the Bulls after spending six years at French club Stade Francais, made a statement in his side's Super Rugby opener against the Sharks in Durban last week.

The Bulls lost 23-15, but Steyn kept his side in the match with four penalties and a drop goal.

However, it's not only Steyn's kicking prowess that has the Stormers on high alert.

"Morne played attacking rugby in the Super Hero match (against the Lions in Soweto on January 19). He's a quality flyhalf and adaptable. If the conditions require running rugby, then he'll oblige," Stormers defence coach Norman Laker said at the team's High Performance Centre in Bellville on Monday, as quoted by Netwerk24.

Laker added: "But yes, he's a phenomenal kicker. That's why he's played 66 Tests for South Africa."

Laker said it will be imperative for the Stormers to keep the penalty count low on Saturday.

"In our Super Hero match (against the Sharks) we conceded five penalties and against the Hurricanes this past weekend we conceded seven. We view seven as the maximum. If you concede penalties, the Bulls will get into your half and put you under pressure with traditional Bulls rugby."

Another Springbok who has returned to the Bulls is lock Juandre Kruger, who spent time at French outfits Racing 92 and Toulon.

He is another player the Cape side is wary of, especially after only boasting a 75% success rate at lineout time against the Hurricanes.

"We all know Juandre is a fantastic lock. He disrupted the Sharks lineout this past weekend and we realise that the Bulls will be contesting on our lineouts," Stormers lock Salmaan Moerat said on Monday.

The Stormers will be without hooker Bongi Mbonambi, who injured his hamstring in the 27-0 win over the Hurricanes.

It's not expected to keep the Bok hooker out for long, but the Stormers are yet to confirm the extent of the injury.

With Mbonambi out of the Bulls match, Scarra Ntubeni should start at hooker against the Bulls, with Chad Solomon likely to be his backup.

The Stormers will also be without captain Siya Kolisi, who is expected to be sidelined for around six weeks after suffering a knee injury against the Hurricanes.

- Compiled by Herman Mostert

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