Springbok Deon Fourie provides X-factor for Stormers in URC derby

Springbok Deon Fourie provides X-factor for Stormers in URC derby

Fresh off playing a key role in winning the Rugby World Cup in France, 37-year-old Deon Fourie was at it again for the Stormers in the URC on Saturday.

Arriving in the Mother City off the back of six consecutive losses to the Stormers, there would be no Christmas miracle for the Bulls as they went down 26-20 in front of nigh 40 000 supporters.

With Springboks aplenty across the park, the North-South battle delivered for the fans, with big hits, linebreaks and drama befitting the rivalry. 

Leading the Stormers' charge was the mercurial Fourie, who put together a captain's performance. Aside from making two linebreaks, he made 24 tackles, won two turnovers and virtually threw Jean-Luc du Plessis for one of their tries in a typical tireless outing.

Speaking to Rugby365 after the match, Bulls coach Jake White hailed the veteran's effort.

"X-Factor means he brings something that he is very good at," said the World Cup-winning coach.

"Everyone is under the impression that X-Factor players are only [those] who wear No.10 and No.15, who run and sidestep.

"X-Factor means you are clever enough not to go into a breakdown, clever enough that when you carry, you get the ball back. You also have the body language of a winner. Those are X-Factors as well.

"It is not about bringing in another backline player who can sidestep. Look at a guy like Deon today - he was outstanding.

"He is not a sidestepper. However, he is very good at what he does and that is the X-Factor that you have."

In October, Fourie came on in just the fourth minute of the Rugby World Cup final following Bongi Mbonabi's knee injury. The flanker-come-hooker proceeded to have a stellar match - even captaining the team in the dying embers  - on the way to World Cup glory.

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