Will the Bulls drown in the Shark Tank?

Sharks' Stadium

Sharks’ Stadium (Photo credit: JohnConnell)

The Bulls will travel to Durban in order to face the Sharks, in what is a crucial game for both teams, later today. The Shark Tank has been good to the Bulls in the last couple of years with their last lost to the Sharks in Durban back in 2008. The Sharks will want to rectify this and set the record straight at Mr Price King’s Park on Friday night in the Super Rugby clash between the two teams. One plus point for all fans and rugby supporters in this game is that the Bulls will be playing in their traditional Blue strip and not the bright Pink.

The Sharks will be missing Pat Lambie and big flank Willem Alberts due to injury and this will be a blow for them. They do however have enough depth to replace both these players. The key for the Sharks will be to get under the skin of Francois Hougaard and upset the Bulls forwards. If they can succeed in this the battle is halfway won. Frans Steyn will also test the midfield defence of the Bulls and he will be in charge of stopping any attack the Bulls centres will launch at the Sharks.  Watch out for strong runs from Marcel Coetzee and the ever present Bismarck du Plessis. Lwazi Mvovo will be dangerous as always on the wing and if given any space he will punish the Bulls for this.

The Bulls will rely as always on their forwards to give them the front foot ball and then they will try and kick themselves into a good position before launching the back line. Morne Steyn will be key in this as will Francois Hougaard. if the Sharks can disrupt these two players the Bulls will suffer. Wynand Olivier will have his hands full with Frans Steyn on attack and it will be difficult to get past his oposite number. He will do good if he lets the ball move to his outside quicker instead of trying to go at it on his own or cut back to the forwards. Bjorn Basson and Akona Ndungane can be devastating if they just get the ball. Up front the two Potgieters, Dewald and Jacques, will be key to insure that the Bulls get quick ball and that it is not turned over. Juandre Kruger will be up against Peter Steph-Du Toit and this will be an interesting match up. Both are young and both are very good.

The guys at Sportingbet has the game at the following odds: Sharks 5/6; Draw 14/1; Bulls EVS.

While these are pretty good odds if you look at the teams and their recent performance I don’t believe there is much in it between the two. It will probably be a good old South African Derby with both teams going hard at each other and not giving an inch and looking at the fact that both can secure a possible play-offs spot it should be. I’m backing the Sharks to win this by a very tight margin and probably not more than 5 points.

Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak,9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Odwa Ndungane

 Bulls: 15  Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Francois Venter

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About Dave

I totally love sport. Rugby, cricket and soccer, but my first love will always be rugby. Other than sport I write my own poems and other interestings articles. I also love cooking. A man of many talents. When it come to Cricket I'm a Cape Cobras, Kolkata Knight Riders and Proteas supporter. Soccer there is only one team and that is Man United and Germany internationally. Other than that I'm a loving father and husband.

Posted on July 6, 2012, in Super 15 Rugby and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Kankowski was the surprise package for the Sharks in this game. His presence disrupted the lineout plans of the Bulls.

    Can’t pick up too many good players for the Bulls that day, but JJ did impress me.

    Could have been a bit different if the Bulls had converted that second half pressure into more than just the solitary try, but Sharks full value for their win.

    Given the inconsistency of the Sharkies though, you wouldn’t be sure of them beating the Cheetahs next weekend.

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