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VIDEO: Bekker challenges Bulls to bring 'something special' to Loftus

Bulls forwards coach Andries Bekker has called on his team to find ‘something special’ for the #BIG North-South derby at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

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The Bulls, on a six-match winning streak in 2024, host the Stormers – who are on a seven-match winning streak against the Bulls.

When the two teams go head-to-head at Loftus Versfeld, the game is also important in terms of the battle for the South African Shield – which the Stormers lead with 17 points, having won all four of their encounters with SA franchises, two more than the Bulls with three wins and a loss.

However, the Bulls are the top SA team in the overall URC standings – third (seven wins from 10 starts, 35 points), behind Leinster (39 points) and Glasgow (36).

The Stormers are the last team to have beaten the Bulls in all competitions – a 26-20 triumph in Cape Town on December 23.

With 140-odd appearances for the Stormers and Western Province, Bekker would have been involved in a substantial number of North-South derbies in a decade-long domestic playing career.

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He said it was always a ‘massive battle’, going back two decades ago when he started his senior career at the Cape Town-based outfit.

“I don’t think that will ever change,” he said, adding: “Stormers versus Bulls will always be one of the biggest games of the season.

“We [the Bulls] need to avoid letting the hype of the occasion get to us.

“We need to approach it as ‘just another game’.

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“We need to keep on working and getting better.

“The opposition will present us with different challenges, so we need to adjust to what we see and think on our feet.”

(WATCH as Bulls forwards coach Andries Bekker chats to @king365ed about the #BIG North-South derby at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday….)

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Bekker, a veteran of 29 Test matches, said preparing the ‘leadership’ is key to winning these big derbies.

“You need to ensure they have all the information and detail they need on the different challenges we might encounter,” he told @rugby365com.

“Not only do they need that detail, we need to prepare during the week – if we face this challenge, we need to do this.

“We need to cover all the bases.

“Fortunately we have good leaders in the forwards, so it is not just up to one player – they can share the load.

“Defence details can be given to one player, attack to another player, set pieces to someone else.

“They then must have quick, honest conversations on the field.

“However, we [the coaches] need to do our part during the week.”

Turning to the Stormers, he said they are a ‘united’ team, with everyone fighting for a common purpose.

“There is something special going on there,” Bekker told @rugby365com, adding: “That is why they haven’t lost to a South African team in a while [17 matches, stretching back to December 2021].

“Our challenge is to bring our ‘special thing’ to the pitch on Saturday.”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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