CAPE TOWN – As a unit the Stormers may not be feeling so great about themselves after the Brumbies defeat last Saturday, but there is one player who can’t stop smiling at the moment.
Pieter-Steph du Toit has, of course, recently become a father to his first born and the Springbok loose forward is certainly enjoying the experience.
“I am on top of the world,” Du Toit told the media in Bellville yesterday. “It gives a person a reality check. We have a responsibility to the spectators, and the team, but you also have a life out of rugby.
“That’s very important to me. I am in a good place at the moment. I am feeling quite good. I have rested a bit. It’s nice to be looked after for a change.”
The Stormers will certainly hope to feed off Du Toit’s positive vibes for they have an all-important clash against the Bulls at Newlands on Saturday. There is certainly a feeling that the Stormers owe it to themselves to put in a better performance against their arch-rivals after a pitiful performance up at Loftus in the season opener.
There were mitigating factors counting against the Stormers on that day with their arrival at the field being delayed due to an accident en-route that tore into their preparation time.
The current SA Rugby Player of the Year, though, doesn’t want to focus on the past and believes they are capable of setting the record straight.
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“The Bulls are something special I guess. Everyone always tells you (that you) have to beat the Bulls. They are a quality team and we are focusing on what we can do. We will give it everything. We have a responsibility to the fans who pay good money to watch us,” Du Toit said.
“Every team has its challenges, and we definitely have had ours. For me personally, we want to play against the best and beat them. I think we are mentally in a good place. We will be far better. They are a good, big, physical side. They also have a good defensive system, but we are preparing for their line-speed. Hopefully we can score some tries.”
Du Toit will also head into the challenge with some of his senior allies around him with Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth and JD Schickerling all set to return to the Stormers starting side.
With prop Frans Malherbe and Bongi Mbonabmi set to pack down in the front row together too, the home team could field an imposing pack of forwards to counter the expected physical onslaught from the Bulls.
“They are massive players. They bring a lot of confidence. It will be a major advantage for us to get them back. It is great having senior players back,” Du Toit said.
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