Jake White has dismissed the Vodacom Bulls’ six-game losing streak against the DHL Stormers as irrelevant.
The Vodacom Bulls go into Saturday night’s North-South derby at Cape Town Stadium without a win in six matches against their rivals in the Vodacom URC.
That statistic has been a big talking point as the two teams prepare for their first meeting since last season’s quarter-finals, when the Stormers won 33-21 in the Mother City.
However, speaking after the Vodacom Bulls arrived in Cape Town on Friday afternoon, White said any animosity from the recent history between the rivals is a media construct.
“To hit it on the head, once and for all, I just did a stat the other day,” White explained. “Before these six games, we beat the Stormers six times in a row and nobody from the media came to me and said, ‘you know you’ve just beaten the Stormers six times in a row’.
“As I said, Griquas have beaten Western Province six times in the Currie Cup.
“It’s irrelevant. That doesn’t make it personal or anything. The only people making a big thing out of it is [the media].”
White named a strong starting lineup captained by Elrigh Louw, in the absence of Marcell Coetzee and the injured Ruan Nortje.
Meanwhile, the Stormers are without 10 senior players, including former Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant, but still included three World Cup winners in their matchday squad.
“It’s a difficult one,” White said about the Stormers’ injuries. “Nobody ever gets the perfect team to run out under any coach. I’ve been coaching for over 40 years and you never really get your perfect team.
“It’s very similar to any province at any time. Sometimes you get a team and they have a couple of injuries but then you play against another team when you do have a lot of injuries.
“We are also missing a few guys. We have also seen a lot of guys leave our province over the last couple of years, like Duane Vermeulen, Trevor Nyakane, Walt Steenkamp, Ivan van Zyl.
“The point I am trying to make is that you can only control what you can control. We’ve both got injuries and can only pick the best team possible for that game, and I am sure the Stormers have done that, as we have.”
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