They say comparisons are odious, but let’s try and make some between the two packs of forwards that are likely to line up in next weekend’s Currie Cup final.
We’ll look at the likely competitors and assign a split of points out of 10. Then, we’ll look at the totals – just for a bit of fun.
1) Mtawarira v Steenkamp. Both are Boks, both are fiery in the loose and have a high workrate. Steenkamp has better ball skills, but Beast is a better scrummager. Going to score this one as 5-5.
2) du Plessis v Kuün. Bismarck is superior in every aspect, bar lineout throwing, where the Bulls man is far more consistent. 6-4 to the Sharks
3) du Plessis v Gerber. Jannie is a Bok prop with a World Cup winner’s medal. Gerber has a nice beard, but doesn’t seem to offer much more. 7-3 to the Sharks.
4) Sykes v Rossouw. Pakslae has all the experience here and tops Sykes in most stats, although the Sharks man has far better hands and is slightly quicker. 6-4 to the Bulls.
5) Muller v Matfield. Completely different players. What Muller brings in terms of workrate at the breakdown, Matfield counters through superb ball skills and lineout work. I’m scoring this one as 5.5-4.5 in favour of the Bulls man.
6) Botes v Stegmann. JB has been around a few seasons longer and does far more with ball in hand, although the young Bull is definitely one to watch for the future and is probably a better player on the ground. 5-5
7) Deysel v van Heerden. Both players who have superb scavenging skills, despite playing on the blindside. Deysel is in far better form at the moment, although van Heerden has experience on his side. 6-4 to the Bulls.
8) Kankowski v Spies. No contest, in terms of skill and form. 6-4 to the Sharks
16) Smit v Rallepelle. The old master against his young apprentice. No contest here, whatsoever. 7-3 to the Sharks.
17) Carstens v Kruger. Again, a seasoned Bok against a rookie. Kruger might be a reasonable scrummager, but Carstens’s work in the loose and destructive scrummaging on either side gives this one to the Sharks, 7-3.
18) van den Berg v Kruger. Albert is wily and has all the experience and all the skills you’d want. Kruger offers a completely different dimension, though and would undoubtedly be more useful in a tight game. 6-4 Sharks.
19) Daniel v Potgieter. Both exciting players who add a dynamic aspect coming on. Daniel is faster, but Potgieter is bigger and also has all the skills. Both have been known to lose their cool and cost their teams points. Going to score this one as even, 5-5.
So, what does that tell us? Sharks get 66.5 and the Bulls 54.5, confirming what we all already know. The Sharks’ pack, man for man and over 80 minutes (taking the awesome bench into account) is just that 10% better than the one the Bulls have.
Let’s hope this results in a resounding win for the men in black and white.Tweet