Van Staden gearing up for clash of the ages

rugby28 February 2024 05:54| © SuperSport
By:Brenden Nel
article image
Marco van Staden © Gallo Images

Springbok World Cup winner Marco van Staden is priming himself up for a clash of the ages when the DHL Stormers arrive at Loftus Versfeld for their Vodacom United Rugby Championship showdown with the Vodacom Bulls.

Van Staden knows the heat of battle all too well and his breakdown battle with his Springbok teammate and fellow part time hooker Deon Fourie will be one of the highlights to watch in the match. While both will be playing in their preferred flanker positions, they will both be key players for their teams on the day.

But Van Staden has never been a man of massive claims, or predictions. He knows it is going to be a grind on the field, and the Bulls will need to be a lot more clinical than they have been if they are going to overturn the seven game losing streak in the URC against their coastal rivals.

“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,” he proclaimed in a media call this week.

“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.”

The improvement from the first to the second game against the Lions will give the Bulls hope and while the stats are against them at Loftus, they know it is a mental hurdle they will need to get over, especially against a team like the Stormers, who can score from anywhere on the field.

“The wins over the Lions will definitely give us momentum. You have to take any momentum you get,” Van Staden said.

And Van Staden knows he has to give a good platform for his backs - the key to the Bulls success of late - to be able to launch their attacks. The Bulls have scored the most tries in the competition this year, but it will be for nothing if that base isn’t there to launch from. With World Cup winners Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse back in the starting line-up, the Bulls will be looking to them to strike hard and fast and give them a chance of overturning the losing streak.

“A big part of the game is the set piece and the base we can give to our backs – give to guys like Devon Williams, Canan, and Kurt-Lee . So, it’s a positive we can take to the Stormers.

“But there is always work to be done and we will see where we can improve ahead of the Stormers.”

And if the Bulls do get it right you can be assured that the key part of it will be Van Staden’s contribution.