United Rugby Championship

Super SA Saturday looms as Stormers, Bulls brace for 'huge' clash

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John Dobson (Getty)
John Dobson (Getty)
  • Stormers coach John Dobson said next week's South African United Rugby Championship derbies will have added significance.
  • The SA sides have been magnificent at home in the past month, with 15 wins in 16 matches.
  • The Stormers will host the Bulls while the Lions will be away to the Sharks.

Stormers coach John Dobson said next week's South African United Rugby Championship derbies will carry even more significance from a log placing perspective.

With the SA sides winning 15 of their last 16 matches against European opposition in the URC, they've put themselves in a position of canceling each other out from a long perspective.

While the Lions, who battled grittily to see off Edinburgh at Ellis Park on Saturday, are still some way from the top eight, the Sharks, Bulls, and Stormers have positioned themselves very well.

RECAP | United Rugby Championship: Stormers v Ospreys

The Stormers are sixth on the log with 43 points after seeing off the Ospreys at the Cape Town Stadium, with the Bulls a point behind in seventh place.

The Sharks are eighth with 41 points and could be the biggest beneficiary of next week's North/South Derby at the Cape Town Stadium between the Bulls and the Stormers.

Fresh from their 29-13 hammering of the Ospreys at the Cape Town Stadium, Dobson did not underscore the importance of the Bulls game and why they needed to beat the Ospreys.

"In terms of winning the conference, it's a huge game next week. The Sharks and Bulls won comfortably and if we'd lost, we would have dropped down to third in the conference," Dobson said.

"So, it's really tight and it heightens the importance of next week and with our legacy of provincialism, we should be thrilled with the success of the South African teams.

URC Log Standings

"We shouldn't have the crab in the bucket mentality, but next week's games are going to be cracking."

In taking down Munster, Ulster, the Scarlets, and the Dragons on four consecutive weekends, the Bulls have set a serious marker.

This is not lost on Dobson, whose side also has a similar run against Zebre, Ulster, Cardiff, and the Ospreys.

The Bulls' brand of rugby has excited Dobson, but he said they're not far from their mark.

"They're playing an expansive brand of rugby, but they're still direct with that big pack of forwards," Dobson said.

"I think we've been also-rans because everything has been about the Sharks and the Bulls, but now we're within touching distance."

On two consecutive weekends, the Stormers had two second-half slowdowns, with the Ospreys one not as bad as last week's meltdown against Ulster.

Dobson said the quality of the opposition didn't allow them to play for 80 minutes, but it's something they need to eradicate.

"Our discipline towards the end of the game put us under pressure, but the teams we played against are full of internationals," Dobson said.

"They're well-coached, play a good style of rugby so they were never going to go away. I do agree the trend we have is something we need to think about."

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