Weak Bulls team? I don’t think so

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Super 14 on 13 Feb 2008 at 10:47

Having a look at a story on another site that goes through the team Frans Ludeke is expected to name for Saturday’s clash in Cape Town, it makes one realise that the Bulls still have plenty of guns in their armoury.

A front row of Steenkamp, Gerber and Kuun? Ok, so the latter has hardly set the world alight at hooker, but once Chilli comes back, that will be a formidable combination. And only one white oke? Progress… coming from the most unlikely of places. Pakslae is fit to start at four, so there’s lots of experience there and his likely partner, Wilhelm Steenkamp, has done it all at age group level. A loose trio of Wikus van Heerden, Pedrie Wannenberg and Deon Stegmann looks to have plenty of pace and will suit the new laws pretty well. Stegmann is another youngster who has yet to play at this level, but has been very exciting in age group and Currie Cup rugby. Let’s not forget that Pierre Spies (maybe) and Bakkies Botha (definitely) still have to come in. Crowd favourite Richard Bands is probably lurking in the shadows too.

Now, you can say what you like about the Bulls backline, but if nothing else, it does have a settled look. Positions 9 through 13 will be exactly the same guys that played (and won) last year: du Preez, Hougaardt, Habana, Olivier and Nel. Not the most dynamic or creative attacking axis, but they know how to kick and to bludgeon, so we just need to see to what extent the ELV’s reduce their effectiveness.

It’s about bloody time John Mametsa got a game at this level – he may not be big, but he is quick and he is clever and he knows how to score tries. He is devastating on the counter attack and a real trier on defence, so I predict he will do well. New signing Zane Kirchner should provide a distinctly un-Roets-like attacking dimension at fullback to complete the team.

Stormers, get ready, because you won’t take this team easily. And four out of the 15 are non-white, meaning the Bulls really are flying the flag this season in terms of transformation. Something the Cheetahs could certainly learn from.


  • Another good article Rob.


  • Comment 1, posted at 13.02.08 11:11:05 by wpw Reply
  • Thanks Wes. You got any pom-poms? 😉

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.02.08 11:11:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • Huh?

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.02.08 11:13:56 by wpw Reply
  • it’s a cheer-leading thing 😉

    Seriously, though, we like to poke fun at the Bulls for being “verkramp”, but they do have one of the best records in terms of nurturing black talent. Only thing they still need to do is trust those guys to deliver at the highest level. If this is indeed the team that plays, I think they will be well on their way to achieving that.

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.02.08 11:17:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • Fully agree the rob.

    I personally am not sure why people feel the Bulls will be weak this season – they wont be as good as last season, but they are not significantly worse.

    Only major concerns should be at lock, although they also have the ex-Shark Wouter Moore, and hooker.

    I dont rate Ludeke all that much, but lets face it, the personnel and established tactics he has got mainly require that he continue what has been created, unlike someone like Rassie who must invigorate a team that has become accustomed to mediocrity, Naka, who must deal with the loss of some of his biggest names and the lack of much backline firepower, Muir, who must deal with the loss of some huge names, and Eloff, who has very little in the way of special players.

    So, dont be surprised if the Bulls outdo the present expectations.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.02.08 11:20:49 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • ok look – let’s be honest. They don’t really have a good option at hooker outside Chilli, who is injury prone. Kuun is kak… not a very good flank and a far worse hooker. Maku is a converted prop, so who knows how long it will be before he makes the grade.

    They have lots of props, as always. Wouter Moore is currently playing for their C team, for goodness sake! There’s a black youngster coming through, Fudge something, and he’s also meant to be good. Add in Bakkies and suddenly you’re not looking bad. Steenkamp is a hell of an exciting prospect.

    At loose forward, they are all similar, although in Stegmann and Dewald Potgieter they’ve got some serious talent. Still raw, but lots of potential. P3 needs to have a big season, as does Wikus, but I’m sure hey will. Not too sure if Spies will be back.

    So, Bulls are sorted at forward. It just remains to be seen whether a) they can get their lineout sorted without Matters and b) they can be as effective without Meyer as the coach.

    Backline is a different story, but as I said above, they do what they do do well.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.02.08 11:26:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • For all the flack we give him, Olivier is a pretty elusive runner at 12. give him 10 metres of space and see what happens. He just can’t pass.

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.02.08 11:27:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • The question is what happens when JP Nel gets a deserved citing for his punch tackles. Wynand has also got to step up in the defence stakes as it leaves a lot to be desired. I won’t mind though if he only sorts it out after march 1st. And are the tight 5 supposed to last a full 80 minutes. you forget super 14 success relies on depth. and when you are starting with your second in line hooker it spells trouble. But they are only playing the Stormers and they have the exact same problems.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.02.08 11:36:28 by try time Reply

  • “but they do have one of the best records in terms of nurturing black talent. ”

    Rob, I beg to disagree – poaching Habana (Lions), Ndungane (Border), Steenkamp (FS), Kirchner (Griquas) hardly qualifies as developing from within.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.02.08 11:41:39 by hellbent Reply

  • I guess not, HB.

    Which part of Natal are Beast, JP and Odwa from again? 😉

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.02.08 11:44:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hellbent,

    You could also include Lobberts in that group…

    In fact the only black player they can claim as their own is Chilliboy.

    And that wasnt exactly development – he was in Pretoria Boys High and sponsored by John Smit!

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.02.08 11:50:12 by VinceChainSaw Reply
  • John Smit is a king. Everyone ready to repeat that after me?

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.02.08 11:52:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • actually beast was nurtured into the prop position by dick muir. odwa (previously the weaker of the twins) has surpassed his brother’s skill under dick. what value have the bulls added to gurthro, and habana in comparison. they took what was already there.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.02.08 11:53:26 by try time Reply

  • he he… trying to be a Bulls protagonist is hard work on this site 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.02.08 11:53:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • but tt, your comments above are hugely valid.

    JP Pietersen would also not have bloomed the way he has at any other province.

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.02.08 11:54:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • yes true, jp wouldn’t have been given the same freedom he has at the sharks had he played in another province.

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.02.08 11:57:04 by try time Reply

  • But the Sharks managed to stuff up Bobo’s career didn’t they?


  • Comment 17, posted at 13.02.08 11:58:40 by wpw Reply
  • I wasn’t disagreeing with the activity, I was disagreeing with you 👿
    Bakkies was born in KZN, I want him back. Professional era though, and that’s what happens.

    But it kind of makes a good argument for an “oops I did it again” team…..

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.02.08 11:59:40 by hellbent Reply

  • wpw, kevin putt and bobo’s injury and acting career ruined his career. john plumtree revived bobo’s career by playing him at wing. had it not for that he would not been seen by province.

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.02.08 12:02:02 by try time Reply

  • WPW – Bobo stuffed up Bobo’s career. He was no great shakes and really only came into his own last year, and was still not good enough to be a first choice in Durban.

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.02.08 12:02:47 by hellbent Reply

  • 😮

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.02.08 12:14:36 by wpw Reply
  • HB, your not aloud too disagree with me here. My word are law!

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.02.08 12:15:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hey, I am a guy wot has his own thought’s. I don’t care what you’re s are.

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.02.08 12:32:31 by hellbent Reply

  • Hmmmm…. sorry, just had an “admin” moment there.

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.02.08 12:35:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • fight! fight! fight! fight!

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.02.08 13:01:32 by try time Reply

  • Where is Heinie Adams from BTW? (serious question)

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.02.08 13:49:21 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Heinie is from the Cape not so?

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.02.08 13:54:22 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • whats going on looks like the bulls are doing more transformation then the sharks.
    murray and beast? thats the lowest no in the comp.

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.02.08 14:02:59 by cab Reply

  • and JP

  • Comment 29, posted at 13.02.08 14:05:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • Yip, Heinie is from Worcester.

    He did however play for SWD before joining the Tswane Cows.

  • Comment 30, posted at 13.02.08 14:06:32 by wpw Reply
  • JP is from Cloetesville in Stellenbosch.

  • Comment 31, posted at 13.02.08 14:07:05 by wpw Reply
  • so with carstens back, it becomes murray and JP, hardly transformed talent? if u call for it, you have to practice what u preach.

    can beast play for SA coming from zimbo and all?

  • Comment 32, posted at 13.02.08 14:18:04 by cab Reply

  • CAB

    he hasn’t played for Zimbo so he can play for SA after a certain period of residence.

    Mujati already qualifies to play for the Boks.

  • Comment 33, posted at 13.02.08 14:29:11 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • it’s really strange how things in government works.

    Take Mujati for instance, he is eligible to play for the Boks but still requires a work permit to work in the country. 🙄

  • Comment 34, posted at 13.02.08 14:31:42 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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