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Bulls loose-forward Arno Botha expecting physical battle from Stormers in URC final

17 June 2022 - 16:58
Arno Botha of the Bulls runs at Frans Malherbe of the Stormers during the United Rugby Championship 2021/2022 match at Cape Town Stadium earlier in the season.
Arno Botha of the Bulls runs at Frans Malherbe of the Stormers during the United Rugby Championship 2021/2022 match at Cape Town Stadium earlier in the season.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Bulls vice-captain and loose-forward Arno Botha is expecting a physical battle when they meet the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship (URC) final in Cape Town on Saturday.

With years of experience behind him and plenty of battles against their coastal rivals, 30-year-old Botha is bracing himself for a big forwards battle which he and his charges have been preparing for before the first-ever URC final.

“We know what they [DHL Stormers] are going to bring. They want to make it physical up front and they have the forwards to do that.

“So, it’s [the physicality] definitely, something we will look into and try to capitalise on. We also have good, dominant forwards and it is a strong point for us.”

Botha will be one of the more experienced heads when they take to the field on Saturday night and he hopes the Bulls’ success in the two years since his return to Loftus Versfeld, which includes two back-to-back Currie Cup titles and the Super Rugby Unlocked trophy, will add a bit of motivation for the side as they target the new URC trophy.

“It [recent success] is definitely something I am proud of. I couldn’t have hoped for a better two years with the Bulls.

“I can’t think of a union I would have had a better time with, in terms of family and lifestyle as well.”

To be able to triumph in Cape Town, Botha emphasised the team must be mentally ready.

“There are always a few small things you can work on or look at that you haven’t looked at for the whole season. Not necessarily always skillwise, but definitely mentally.

“It’s not a scale down in terms of training, but it is a bit more calm. It’s about boxing smart. We won’t be needing to make a 180-degree turn on plays or on defence. If we have been doing it and getting it right, then we will be fine. We are calm and know what we need to do.”

Bulls Team

STARTERS (15-1): Canan Moodie, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Zak Burger, Elrigh Louw, Arno Botha, Marcell Coetzee, Ruan Nortje, Walt Steenkamp, Mornay Smith, Johan Grobbelaar Gerhard Steenekamp

IMPACT: Bismarck du Plessis, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel, WJ Steenkamp, Embrose Papier, Morne Steyn, Kurt-Lee Arendse

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