South Africa

Bulls not worried about 0-7 record ahead of Stormers clash

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The Bulls’ 0-7 record against the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship will hold no weight on Saturday when the two teams meet in a North-South derby at Loftus Versfeld.

This is the view of Bulls scrumhalf, Embrose Papier, who says the previous games between the teams are all in the past and will have little to no relevance when they renew their rivalry in Pretoria this weekend.

“To be honest we just see it as another game,” Papier told The Citizen ahead of the competition’s resumption following a week off.

“We can’t look back at those games, they are gone. Everyone will forget about them in years to come. We are just looking forward to the next game, it’s another match, it’s a new game we are focusing on the now,” he said. 

‘We want to win’

Papier said the Bulls would be going into the game with plenty of positivity and the goal to come out on top after 80 minutes — like they do for every game.

“We came into the season with a plan, and our main plan was just to win. Every game we take seriously, every game is important to us, we want to win every game and put on a good performance for the fans,” said Papier, who is enjoying a good season and is playing some of the best rugby of his career.

“The coaches expect us to perform on the weekends and execute the plan. It’s still a long way to go, we just need to stay focused. It’s going to be tough, there are going to be injuries but we’ll take it game by game,” said Papier.

Saturday’s fixture has a real big game feel about it as 30,000 tickets have already been sold. There’s a lot at stake on the points table with five points separating the two teams. The Bulls are in third with 35 points while the Stormers are in sixth place with 30 points.

‘It feels like a Test match’

Papier said the Bulls versus Stormers match has again brought butterflies to his stomach.

“I do get nervous, but not a bad nervous…more excited. That’s the mindset of the derbies and playoffs, you expect them to be massive. It’s almost like Test matches,” he said.

“It’s going to be a tough game, the Stormers are a good side, and it’s going to be physical. They are five points behind, it’s going to be tough but we are looking forward to it,” Papier said.

The match kicks off at 5.05pm on Saturday. The day’s earlier derby, between the Lions and Sharks, kicks off at 3pm at Ellis Park.