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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Stormers bracing for ‘physical battle’ against in-form Bulls

The Stormers have not been as convincing as the Bulls this season.

Stormers lock Ben-Jason Dixon is ready for a physical battle with the Bulls when they meet in the United Rugby Championship (URC) at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (7pm).

The North-South derby is expected to draw a large crowd, with many more spectators set to be glued to their TV screens as the Stormers and Bulls renew their long rivalry.

The fixture has become a one-sided affair recently with the Stormers having the upper hand. They have won all six of the previous matches between the two teams in the URC.

The Stormers, however, have not been as convincing as the Bulls this term. The Western Cape side are in 10th place on the log with 18 points while their Pretoria counterparts are in third place with 25 points. But form often goes out the window in derbies, and it will count for nothing this weekend.

Iconic fixture

Dixion, who grew up watching the North-South derby matches, is looking forward to being involved in the iconic fixture.

“Growing up watching with my dad, I remember a Stormers-Bulls game where they wore pink kit and Tiaan Liebenberg was playing for us, and I’m sure Brok Harris and Deon Fourie as well, and it just inspires you as a kid,” Dixon said.

“The rivalry goes deep, and both teams are so proud to have the history that they have and the quality players they’ve had over the years. It’s awesome to be a part of.

“I love to tackle, and I am looking forward to the physical battle a lot. The rest of the team is looking forward to it too, especially a good defensive performance.”

‘Momentum shift’

The 25-year-old believes last weekend’s win over European champions La Rochelle in the Champions Cup gives the hosts momentum going into this weekend’s clash.

“It’s been a massive momentum shift for us getting that win over La Rochelle because we’ve been on the end of a few tough losses,” Dixon said.

“We needed that boost of victory, and it also means a lot for the fans as well.”

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