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Vodacom Bulls co-captain, Ruan Nortje says “There is nothing better than running out to a packed Loftus,” as he and his teammates continue with preparations for the titanic Vodacom United Rugby Championship round 11 clash versus the DHL Stormers on Saturday 02 March 2024, to be played at the fortress.

Nortje is pinning his hopes on the Loftus faithful turning up for this mouth-watering encounter that is set for 17h05 kick-off. “The passion from the stands gives us that final push when the pressure is against us and pushes us forward when we are attacking. Strangely enough, you can hear every voice from the stand, shouting for you to make it and we are counting on that this Saturday too.”

This will be the eighth meeting between the Vodacom Bulls and the DHL Stormers in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship and this weekend’s appointment has much on the line as both sides look for points to secure home ground playoff spots and the South African shield.

The Tshwane-based outfit sits third on the log, 4 points behind the table-topping Leinster whilst the visitors from the Cape are lying in sixth place, 5 points behind the herd. In the context of the Mzansi Shield, the visitors sit at the top with 17 points – 2 ahead of their hosts – having won 4 of their local derbies in this current campaign of the competition.

Forward, Nizaam Carr – who has been involved in the historic derby from both sides of the line – says the gees of a large crowd is an indescribable feeling.

“It is an unbelievable feeling that can only be explained by those who have had the privilege of playing here and the very same gees that most likely terrifies opposition teams who have to visit because they know they are playing against 23 on the field plus 51 000 on the stands,” says Carr.

“We are counting on the locals to turn up on Saturday, packing the stadium to the brim and making it another memorable North-South derby for everyone, not just the players.”

So far, 30 000 tickets have been sold and Nortje says that is only because the rest of the buyers are making their final diary plans.

“It gives us great confidence to know that more than 30 000 have already signed up to celebrate origins with us and I am confident that the other 18 000 are busy making their final arrangements to be here as we celebrate our schools and clubs.”

The day will be a hype of activity with the Vodacom Bulls continuing with its friendly matches which allow for the expanded squad the opportunity to remain match-fit. This weekend the side will take on the Leopards which will serve as a curtain raiser kicking off at 13h45.

There will also be a plethora of entertainment in the D-field market which opens at 13h00, serving guests food and drink with a musical line-up featuring December Streets, Martin Bester & the band and van Pletzen.

Tickets for this unmissable clash begin from R 50.00c and are available from Ticketpro.

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