Richard Ferguson

Bulls announce team to face the Sharks


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 21 Feb 2012 at 12:39
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The Bulls have named their team to face the Sharks in Pretoria on Friday night, with Pierre Spies captaining the team from the back of the scrum, and with a fairly inexperienced centre pairing called upon to do the business.

The forward pack sees the much anticipated front row of Greyling, Ralepelle and Kruger, with Flip van der Merwe and Juandre Kruger doing the business in the second row. The loosies of Stegmann, Jacques Potgieter and Spies make up quite a decent forward pack.

Hougaard and Steyn make up the halfbacks, with youngsters Francois Venter and Johann Sadie asked to do duty in the midfield, setting up a mouth watering two on two with either Bosman or Whitehead and JP Pietersen. The back three has mountains of experience and are likely to be chasing the ball all night long.

The team to play the Sharks is (with Super Rugby caps):

Zane Kirchner (54), Akona Ndungane (67), Johann Sadie (7)*, Francois Venter (0)*, Bjorn Basson (25), Morné Steyn (89), Francois Hougaard (29), Pierre Spies (72, c), Jacques Potgieter (0)*, Deon Stegmann (55), Juandré Kruger (0)*, Flip van der Merwe (34), Werner Kruger (58), Chiliboy Ralepelle (35), Dean Greyling (15).

Replacements: Willie Wepener (40)*, Frik Kirsten (2), Wilhelm Steenkamp (36), CJ Stander (0)*, Jano Vermaak (62)*, Louis Fouché (0)*, JJ Engelbrecht (0)*.



83 Comments

  • Rich… my phone has just seen its ass…. sorry for the confusion. We’ll go with this one

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.02.12 12:44:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • How Sideshow Bob got past 2 games i have no idea …

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.02.12 12:47:35 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Good team that. No real weak points except maybe the captain and the inexperience of the centre pair.

    It’s not going to be a walk in the park for the Sharks.

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.02.12 12:48:19 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Flip vd Merwe and Stegmann both starting. Makes it difficult to bet on the first yellow card of the game.

    Also interested to see which loosie is the kakker captain under pressure.

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.02.12 12:50:01 by waje Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    No worries boet, I just pulled mine..

    Hope the phone is okay..

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.02.12 12:50:28 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    I only see now that you swopped them.. my bad..

    Reading through the article thinking to myself it all looks so familiar.. hahaha

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.02.12 12:51:29 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Sharks will have to run onto the field already “switched on” for this game..need to stop the runs of greyling dead in its tracks,which is what deysel did so effectively in the game at loftus last year.
    And need to watch out for jj engelbrecht if he comes on:wouldve started him if I was blue.plus jano on the bench.

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.02.12 12:51:40 by bergshark Reply

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  • @Pokkel (Comment 3) : Agreed. Not going to be easy at all, but certainly doable.

    Hougaard has to be watched like a hawk.

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.02.12 12:52:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Good team imo…its gonna be a good outing for both teams! GO SHARKS!!

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.02.12 12:53:01 by Ice Reply
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  • Weakness in Bulls team, J.Pottie and Venter, otherwise starting 15 pretty solid; bench…well ours will kick/Dominate theirs.

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.02.12 13:01:33 by JJR Reply
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  • Poorn Jano still on the Bench . Good luck with winning the trophies my son

  • Comment 11, posted at 21.02.12 13:04:18 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @ comment 2, Mind you, Francois Venter looked really good in the CC.
    Rob, please don’t take this as a negative comment :lol:

  • Comment 12, posted at 21.02.12 13:04:54 by dawj Reply

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  • @Zibbie (Comment 11) :

    Karma is such a well thought out b!tch..

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.02.12 13:08:47 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @waje (Comment 4) : Perhaps K Daniel ;-)

  • Comment 14, posted at 21.02.12 13:09:28 by diablo Reply

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  • @diablo (Comment 14) :

    Howzit diablo? It could be our vice captain as well!

  • Comment 15, posted at 21.02.12 13:13:49 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @JJR (Comment 10) :

    Haven’t seen much of Jacques Potgieter, but he doesn’t sound to be a weakness if general opinion is anything to go by. Why do you think that?

    Can’t agree with Francois Venter being a weakness.

    If I had to pinpoint some weaknesses, I’d go:

    - Front-row. Greyling moves his big frame around best he can, but should rather focus on getting basics right. Werner Kruger is a lost cause.

    - Balance of loose-trio. Spies needs to be the go-forward ball-carrier, otherwise they’re going to suffer. Not many ball-carrying options in those pack of forwards.

    - Back-three make tons of mistakes, and defensively frail.

  • Comment 16, posted at 21.02.12 13:17:47 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 13) :

    Same with J Fourie who left the Lions cause he wanted to win cups ..

    Then again he didnt stick around Province very long ..

  • Comment 17, posted at 21.02.12 13:19:08 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Strong T5. Could lay a solid foundation in set play for Steyn to do what he does best. Loosies will have to work hard to disrupt their forward play. Kanko better be hungry.

  • Comment 18, posted at 21.02.12 13:19:14 by Big Fish Reply
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  • How did Fouche get a bench spot ahead of Cronje? I thought Cronje was a better player and can also play centre

  • Comment 19, posted at 21.02.12 13:19:23 by slammerboy Reply
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  • Hi Pokkel – that thought did cross my mind too. Who’ll take on the captaincy should they both be off at the same time?

  • Comment 20, posted at 21.02.12 13:22:32 by diablo Reply

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  • Also, we’ll quickly see if Francois Hougaard has the tactical appreciation to be playing scrumhalf.

    Scrumhalf has pretty much become the new flyhalf. Whoever wears the 9 jersey has a huge responsibility on his shoulders.

    For now I can’t imagine anyone getting near Fourie du Preez… but I sure wish Hougaard does.

  • Comment 21, posted at 21.02.12 13:22:52 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 21) :

    As a neutral…who would you pick in this game?

  • Comment 22, posted at 21.02.12 13:25:04 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @diablo (Comment 20) :

    Jacques Botes if he came on?

    Or Lambie?

  • Comment 23, posted at 21.02.12 13:25:17 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @diablo (Comment 20) :

    Probably someone like Sykes, if on the field, Botes if he makes the bench and last resort will be Bosman.

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.02.12 13:27:17 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 24) :

    I suppose Skeate can also do the job..

  • Comment 25, posted at 21.02.12 13:27:36 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Not a bad Bulls team. I’m very keen to see how their centres do.

    I’m happy about their back 3 and that Spies is at 8. Makes it an easier game for us :mrgreen:

    If they wanted a chance at winning they should have started with:

    15. Visser
    14. Engelbrecht
    11. Hougaard
    9. Vermaak
    8. Stander

  • Comment 26, posted at 21.02.12 13:27:45 by ChrisS Reply
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  • All the picks this weekend are hard to make.

    Superbru could be a disaster for some….I’ll probably be among them.

  • Comment 27, posted at 21.02.12 13:29:14 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 26) :

    I am also perplexed at the selection of Akhona ahead of JJ..

    Haven’t seen much of him in the Bulls jersey lately, wonder if he has any pace left after those broken legs..

  • Comment 28, posted at 21.02.12 13:29:37 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 27) :

    I’ll tell you what I’m going for, and you will have a great weekend if you select the opposite..

    Week 1′s are always the worst for me.

  • Comment 29, posted at 21.02.12 13:30:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 22) :

    I reckon the Bulls, but I also got both CC semi-final picks wrong, as well as the last game between these sides in Super Rugby 2011 (I backed the Bulls), so don’t take my word for it.

    Just reckon the Bulls have added enough weapons, and aren’t missing many players from their starting line-up.

    Wynand Olivier is probably the only one that is a definite ‘BIG LOSS’. Jacques Potgieter, by the sounds of it, is a step up on Dewald anyway, and I wouldn’t imagine there is much to pick between Akona and JJ.

    Sharks missing a bit more, and are unsure in a lot of selections. Never a great sign – hints at lack of preparation.

  • Comment 30, posted at 21.02.12 13:30:50 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 29) :

    Sounds like a plan! :grin:

  • Comment 31, posted at 21.02.12 13:31:28 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 28) : Or play Akona at 15. That’s where I see Odwa’s future and they have a similar skill-set and both have lost a yard of pace.

  • Comment 32, posted at 21.02.12 13:32:07 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 28) :

    Apparently… not sure how true this is, JJ has been ‘irritated’ with an injury.

    Again, don’t take my word for it.

  • Comment 33, posted at 21.02.12 13:32:10 by hendrikp Reply

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  • This game certainly won’t be a walk-over for the Sharks but we could pull it off – especially if we can rattle their backs early in the game and keep Hougie contained. Gonna be a tough ask.

  • Comment 34, posted at 21.02.12 13:33:07 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I would have felt a lot more confident about this game if Alberts and The Beast were playing.

  • Comment 35, posted at 21.02.12 13:35:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 29) :

    If i pick the opposite everything will be draws …

  • Comment 36, posted at 21.02.12 13:36:11 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 33) :

    It does make sense if he is.. Surely he will make the starting team if fully fit?

  • Comment 37, posted at 21.02.12 13:37:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 35) :

    I’m happy with Coetzee and Daniel to do the job, Kanko worries me..

    As for Beast, he is a massive loss!

  • Comment 38, posted at 21.02.12 13:38:16 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 35) : Beast was used very effectively on the wing in last year’s SR game at Loftus to keep the ball in play. I’m not sure if it was intentional or by chance but it resulted in far fewer lineouts for the Bulls and probably disrupted their gameplan quite a bit.

  • Comment 39, posted at 21.02.12 13:38:46 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 37) : Then why risk him? They can play Sadie or Jacobs on the wing or move Kirchner and bring in Visser.

  • Comment 40, posted at 21.02.12 13:39:19 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 40) :

    I’m not sure why risk him? You could ask Ludeke and let us know..

  • Comment 41, posted at 21.02.12 13:40:56 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • 3 sure picks I reckon this week.

    Waratahs beat the Reds, Chiefs beat the Highlanders & Stormers beat the Hurricanes.

    Then I’d back the Bulls & Cheetahs.

    No idea from Brumbies vs Force or Blues vs Crusaders… would be easier when line-ups are announced :mrgreen:

  • Comment 42, posted at 21.02.12 13:42:07 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 30) : Just because we are unsure about a few of the selections, doesn’t mean Plum is. I also think it’s only lock and center that’s net 100% certain, but chances are it will be. Sykes/Skeate with Bresler/Steph Du Toit on the bench and center will be Bosman with Whitehead on the bench. The rest is pretty clear cut.

    And the only reason those positions are a little uncertain is because we added some much needed depth in these specific positions. And its good to know that this depth is actually position to start.

  • Comment 43, posted at 21.02.12 13:43:55 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 37) :

    I thought so too, but can’t help but wonder why he’s even playing if he’s injured…

    Might be a simple case of the coaches seeing something we don’t. I mean in Cape Town he quickly fell in behind Poolman…

    Might be something we’re not being told, or they genuinely rate Akona higher.

  • Comment 44, posted at 21.02.12 13:44:22 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @Letgo (Comment 43) :

    Didn’t he say a few days ago that he hadn’t made up his mind at all positions?

    It doesn’t matter anyway.

    This Bulls XV has been identified as their best XV since the Currie Cup ended. They can work with that…

    When everybody knows where they stand, things tend to go a lot better. Just my opinion.

  • Comment 45, posted at 21.02.12 13:46:18 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @hendrikp (Comment 42) :

    The Waratahs over the Reds? With all their injuries? Really?

  • Comment 46, posted at 21.02.12 13:46:56 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 44) :

    Pure experience in a must win game early in the season perhaps?

  • Comment 47, posted at 21.02.12 13:48:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @hendrikp (Comment 45) :

    You do make a valid point..

    On the other hand though, competition for places is NEVER a bad thing. No use telling a player he will be selected if he isn’t in form.

    Then again, Plum used to do that, and might even still do that.

  • Comment 48, posted at 21.02.12 13:49:39 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 46) :

    Ah, forgot about the Waratahs injuries.

    Put that on my ‘wait until line-ups are announced’.

  • Comment 49, posted at 21.02.12 13:50:31 by hendrikp Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 48) :

    Competition for places can create a certain environment yes. The right sort of culture. Bulls already have the right culture.

    Their preparation will be better because they’ve picked their best XV and gone with it. Everybody now knows what’s expected of them, and they know each players strengths, weaknesses, limitations…

    Let’s just say, I like the Bulls build-up a lot more then I like the Sharks build-up to the start of the comp… and I think guys like Juandre Kruger, Johann Sadie will be excellent this year. They’ve recruited brilliantly.

  • Comment 50, posted at 21.02.12 13:54:05 by hendrikp Reply

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  • I see the Bulls lead in the SB community picks stats…56,87 to 42,87 of the Sharks…One drol even predicted Bulls by 120!!

  • Comment 51, posted at 21.02.12 15:04:52 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 51) :

    Must be Muzi sitting in his pink jersey waiting at Loftus for kick off already..

  • Comment 52, posted at 21.02.12 15:07:14 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 51) :

    SO you’ve made your picks already? A lot of 50/50 games this weekend.

  • Comment 53, posted at 21.02.12 15:12:56 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Jacques Potgieter is the surprise selection here. Really expected CJ Stander to be at 7 but admit that 7 is not CJs best possie.

    Potgieter at 1.94m. Noticeably physically aggressive livewire player for the Kings in the past. Not sure what to expect from him at this level tho. Will be interesting.

    I would be fearful of Francois Venter if he is matched against one-on-one tackle slouch Meyer Bosman. Venter works that fringe channel very well and if not closed down quickly, he could have a field day against the slowish off the mark Sharks 12 (thats if Bosman gets the nod ahead of Whitehead which seems the probable guess at this stage)

  • Comment 54, posted at 21.02.12 15:18:29 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 54) : I think we can nullify Venter. Don’t think he likes to pass much so can exploit that. Keegan and Marcell need to be all over him like a fat kid on a smartie

  • Comment 55, posted at 21.02.12 15:21:13 by slammerboy Reply
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  • Hopefully Stegmann and Flip give away a host of penalties between them as well as get a couple of yellows.

  • Comment 56, posted at 21.02.12 15:25:26 by slammerboy Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 53) : Might as well kick off with a good eeny meeny miny mo! LOL

    @Richard Ferguson (Comment 52) : LOL!

  • Comment 57, posted at 21.02.12 15:26:42 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 51) : Has someone been drinking??? 120 points??? :shock:

  • Comment 58, posted at 21.02.12 15:29:05 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 52) : Loftus or Moftus?? :mrgreen: Have you seen the new Bulls rugby boot with “real high heel action”?? :smile:

  • Comment 59, posted at 21.02.12 15:30:21 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @slammerboy (Comment 55) : :grin:

  • Comment 60, posted at 21.02.12 15:33:12 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 59) : Loftus Persveld.. :grin:

  • Comment 61, posted at 21.02.12 15:36:03 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 61) :

    :mrgreen:

  • Comment 62, posted at 21.02.12 15:44:52 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @slammerboy (Comment 55) : :mrgreen: True! But if he does get thru a gap I think the secret is to wrap-up tackle him coz when he does seem to be very good at getting rid of the ball to support runners once he feels the contact is about to bring him down. Will help to block off the support lines as well.

  • Comment 63, posted at 21.02.12 16:49:09 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 63) : agree… that boy is a bit like Olivier in that he’s a surprisingly poor distributor for a 12. Deadly if he manages to get through a gap, though.

  • Comment 64, posted at 21.02.12 16:52:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 64) : you only had to watch him in the JWC last year to confirm this.

  • Comment 65, posted at 21.02.12 16:54:29 by slammerboy Reply
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  • @slammerboy (Comment 65) : exactly… and this is unfortunately the way I am sometimes… while all around me were jizzing themselves at the number of solo tries he and his mate Botha were scoring, all I could see is what appalling team players (and distributors) both of them were.

  • Comment 66, posted at 21.02.12 16:57:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 66) : I must youtube Frans Venter’s brilliant performance in the u21 final. However there have also been enough games at 13 for the Bulls seniors to prove that he is a talented player on the front foot at the higher level.

  • Comment 67, posted at 21.02.12 17:07:32 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 67) : at 13, yes…

  • Comment 68, posted at 21.02.12 17:13:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • So this incredible Venter and Sadie combo are gonna kick ass right out the gates …

    Doubt it ..happy to be proved wrong.

  • Comment 69, posted at 21.02.12 17:28:53 by csb Reply

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  • @csb (Comment 69) : I’ll be unhappy if you’re proved wrong :)

  • Comment 70, posted at 21.02.12 17:38:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @csb (Comment 69) : Thing is not many people are referring to them as a lethal combo. That part remains to be proven. Nonetheless 2 brilliant individualistic players, each very capable of kicking butt out of the gates/in the home stretch/wherever.

  • Comment 71, posted at 21.02.12 17:48:04 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 71) :

    Fair enough ..you’v seen more of Venter than I have and imo Sadie has yet to prove himself …Bulls are being given way to much credit here ..sure a strong looking team but untried and untested in a few areas …proof is in the game played .

    There is pariety in the forwards and both side are starting with a new look backline …

    Still think Sharks have the goods to take this … You guys mental block against the Bulls has been overcome ..lets hope it continues.

  • Comment 72, posted at 21.02.12 17:54:51 by csb Reply

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  • @beet (Comment 71) :
    2 great individuals do not a great centre pairing make. Plenty of people talking these 2 up, so csb’s point is valid.

    I think gauging them against their opposite centres only will be a mistake – I have no doubt that they will be targetted for softening up by the heavies pretty early. The test will be how they respond to that.

  • Comment 73, posted at 21.02.12 17:55:40 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Not to mention Ludicrious at the helm …the word coat-tails comes to mind …

  • Comment 74, posted at 21.02.12 17:56:03 by csb Reply

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  • @csb (Comment 72) : starting to think it might be best to start with Fred… he’s like our lucky charm against the cows

  • Comment 75, posted at 21.02.12 17:57:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • For me the key will be if Kanko turns up and out plays Spies …which is very possible ….we still don’t know how Spies will adapt to the added responsibility of being Capt.

    Keegan has had a tough CC season to learn …

  • Comment 76, posted at 21.02.12 18:00:46 by csb Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 75) :

    He does seem to raise his game againts the pink cows ..

    Dairy anyone .. :|

  • Comment 77, posted at 21.02.12 18:04:14 by csb Reply

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  • @csb (Comment 77) : le boeuf…. :)

  • Comment 78, posted at 21.02.12 18:10:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 78) : what happend with the phone?

  • Comment 79, posted at 21.02.12 18:14:42 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 73) : That’s basically what I said in comment 71.

  • Comment 80, posted at 21.02.12 18:39:54 by beet Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 79) : my new Torch saw its ass in spectacular fashion… going to get a replacement, but it will take 2 weeks.

    So for now, I’m using my old Curve

  • Comment 81, posted at 21.02.12 18:46:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 80) : And I wanted to add that apart from the Olivier-Venter combo that functioned so well towards the end of last season, when last did the Bulls have a midfield that we talked of as a combo. (JP Nel fans must shut up :mrgreen: )

    Recently we’ve seen Fofana-Rougerie, last year Doppies-Alwyn and SBW-Fruean, often de Villiers-Fourie and Nonu-Smith.

    Bulls centres generally don’t work in tandem, they mostly operate as independents on attack. That’s their style of play.

    Over the years there have been strong cases for good understanding amongst Bulls 12/13s on D tho.

  • Comment 82, posted at 21.02.12 21:13:43 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 81) : I accidently gooi my phone out the car window and yurs see it’s ass….is that telephonepathy? :lol:

  • Comment 83, posted at 21.02.12 21:20:47 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     

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