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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter


Bulls v Glasgow: Six key players to watch in URC final

Cameron Hanekom, Ruan Nortje and Johan Goosen could be key for the Bulls against Glasgow Warriors.


The Bulls and Glasgow Warriors will face off in the Grand Final of the United Rugby Championship at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, with kick-off at 6pm.

Both teams will aim to win their maiden URC title and join the ranks of the Stormers and Munster.

We examine six players, three from the Bulls and three from the Warriors, who will likely play pivotal roles in the final in Pretoria.

Bulls

Cameron Hanekom

The 22-year-old had the best game of his young career last weekend against Leinster, and he will aim to top that performance in the final against the Warriors.

Hanekom was colossal, excelling in almost every aspect of the game. He made carries, tackled, won turnovers, offloaded well, and brought significant energy to the field.

If he can replicate his performance from the Leinster game, the Bulls will have a strong chance of defeating the Warriors. This match also gives Hanekom another opportunity to stake his claim for a spot in the Springbok team.

Ruan Nortje

There will be significant weight on the shoulders of the towering lock.

This will be Nortje’s biggest game as Bulls captain, marking another step in his growth as a leader. His communication with the match officials and teammates, along with his decision-making, will be crucial to the game’s outcome.

Nortje will also be key at the lineouts, whether calling or contesting. The Bulls will look to score maul tries, making him a crucial lineout target. Given the Warriors’ strong lineout, he’ll need to disrupt their maul attempts as well.

Johan Goosen

The experienced Bulls flyhalf has been in excellent form during the playoffs.

Goosen played a crucial role in getting his team past Benetton and Leinster to reach the final. Last week, he was instrumental in executing the kicking tactic and kicking for the posts.

The Warriors will aim to prevent him from dictating the game’s tempo, but given Goosen’s current confidence, stopping him will be a challenging task.

The Bulls will rely on Goosen to create pivotal moments that put them ahead in the game.

Johan Goosen. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Glasgow Warriors

Kyle Steyn

South African-born Steyn will captain the Warriors against the Bulls and will want to lead from the front.

Steyn’s try propelled the Warriors to victory against Munster in their semi-final, and he will aim to score again in the final.

Over the past year, Steyn has been a scoring machine for Scotland in Test rugby, so he won’t be fazed by playing in a URC final.

Huw Jones

Although he has not played many games for the Warriors this URC season, Jones is a crucial player for the team.

Jones, who launched his rugby career in Cape Town, is one of the most dangerous midfielders in rugby. He is a potent finisher, making him a player the Bulls must watch closely.

As a former Stormers player, Jones will relish playing a final at Loftus Versfeld. And with experience in international rugby and major club games, he won’t need additional motivation to rise to the occasion.

Huw Jones. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Sione Tuipulotu

Tuipulotu is the main orchestrator of the Warriors’ attacking system, known for his soft touches and handling skills.

The 27-year-old consistently puts his team on the front foot with his attacking prowess.

The Scottish international is recognized for his impactful carries that often end in well-timed offloads, and Warriors coach Franco Smith will look to Tuipulotu to unlock the Bulls’ defence.

In his last visit to Pretoria, Tuipulotu appeared comfortable. He will also be expected to play a key role in the defensive system when the Bulls attack.

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