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Bulls happy to 'look in the mirror'

SPOTLIGHT: It is, without doubt, South Africa’s biggest domestic derby – the Bulls versus the Stormers.

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With Bulls management predicting a near-sell-out crown in the region of 50,000, Saturday’s big North-South face-off is shaping up as one for the ages.

The Bulls are still flying the South African flag in two European competitions this season – the Champions Cup and the United Rugby Championship.

However, In the South African Shield race the Stormers have the edge – having won all four domestic matches for 17 points, followed by the Bulls with three wins for 15 points.

World Cup-winning Springbok utility forward Marco van Staden said they are not ‘hung up’ on the fact that they have suffered seven consecutive losses at the hands of the Stormers.

Instead, they are focused ‘internally’ on improving.

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“It is always a fight,” the 28-year-old said in the build-up to the North-South derby, adding: “We have to do the basics right.”

Having beaten the Lions in back-to-back Trans-Jukskei derbies – 30-28 at Loftus and 25-10 at Ellis Park – the Bulls come into the game with some momentum.

Their last defeat was the 20-26 reversal against the Stormers in Cape Town back on December 23.

Add in their European Cup wins over Bristol (31-17 at Ashton Gate) and Bordeaux-Bègles (46-40 and Loftus) and they are on a six-match winning streak.

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“Any momentum you get, you take,” he said, adding: “We have had another week of preparation.”

He said there is plenty of room for improvement on their win over the Lions a fortnight ago, but he felt their “game management” was the key to their improvement performance from the first to the second of the two Trans-Jukskei derbies.

“However, it won’t just be one aspect of the game, against the Stormers it is always a massive fight in all aspects.

“It’s been a tough few times against the Stormers but it’s not for us to focus on them.

“We have to do the things we do extra well.

“It’s always a fight, any derby game in South Africa is a fight to get over the line.

“But for us, it’s going to be about doing the basics well and control what we can control.

“You take any momentum you can get and go forward.

“There’s never a perfect game and we’ll take the things we did well against the Lions and improve on it. There’s always work to be done.”

@king365ed
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