STORMERS ON WARPATH

WHEN the Bulls travelled to Newlands, Cape Town two weeks back for their final pool match of the Super 14, they opted to send a "B-side" after already securing a home semifinal.

WHEN the Bulls travelled to Newlands, Cape Town two weeks back for their final pool match of the Super 14, they opted to send a "B-side" after already securing a home semifinal.

There will be no "B-side" fronting up when they take on the Stormers at Orlando Stadium on Saturday's final, so not much can be read into the Stormers' 38-10 scoreline.

What is of more interest, and a truer reflection of the closeness in ability of the two sides, is a look at last year's semifinal.

Going into the final minutes of the game the Stormers were up 19-18 at Newlands before a last-gasp penalty by Morne Steyn for the Bulls pipped a gutted Stormers team 21-19.

It's a game the Stormers have been using as motivation for this weekend's clash.

"We learnt so much from that loss," Stormers assistant coach Matt Proudfoot told Sowetan yesterday.

"It was like being hit by a constant surge and that's what semifinals and finals are like," he said. "We have learnt from that game - what we did right, what we did wrong."

The Bulls are a team for the big occasion. They thrive on the pressure, the crowd, the emotion, something Proudfoot is only too aware of.

"The Bulls are not a complicated side but what they do, they execute very well," he said.

A final such as Saturday's is won up front among the forwards.

The Stormers have a devastating loose forward trio of captain Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw, but its the locking pair of Andries Bekker and Adriaan Fonse that will be more than a match for the Bulls combination of Victor Matfield and Danie Roussouw.

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