Bulls' Jake White unfazed by stormers' dominance ahead of high-stakes clash

Bulls' Jake White unfazed by stormers' dominance ahead of high-stakes clash

Although his team has been struggling against the Stormers in the URC in recent years, Bulls boss Jake White insists he is not worried about their record against the men from the Cape.

The two heavyweights of the South African game face off in a highly anticipated North-South derby at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday and the Stormers head into the encounter full of confidence as they have won the last seven matches against their rivals.

White sang the Stormers' praises and admitted that a tough challenge awaits his charges against John Dobson's troops, but emphasised that he is not losing sleep over the Bulls' poor record against their arch rivals.

"They are without a doubt our best opponent since the competition started," he said. "The Stormers have played in the final both seasons (since the URC came into being in 2021/22).

"We are coming up against a team with a well-established coaching staff, who have been together for a long time and have had a lot of success.

"I don't worry about how many times we've lost because most teams struggle against the Stormers. It's not something we talk about in the camp."

The 60-year-old conceded that his side have not played their best rugby against the Stormers in those seven previous URC matches.

"They don't let you do that because their defence is so outstanding," said White.

"This season we have produced very good performances against formidable teams such as Saracens and Bordeaux, but we have not yet been able to click against the Stormers.

"Saturday's game is a great measure to see how we have grown as a team.

"I am convinced that we are now much closer to the hardened and seasoned team that we want to be, but we are not close to the complete product.

"We are on our way there and I am very happy with where we are now compared to two seasons ago."

The former Springboks head coach said one of the Stormers' strengths is that they make full use of their chances when under pressure.

"Whether it's succeeding with a penalty when playing time has expired or scoring a try at a critical moment late in a game, it's something they get right on the clock," White added.

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