KSA Shark ©

Bulls depth will carry the day

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 28 Aug 2008 at 10:26

The Blue Bulls have not fired on all cylinders recently, but they should be back at the top of the log after their Currie Cup match against Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.

Why? Because WP have an average frontrow that will put their pack and backline on their heels; and a talented player who is new to the flyhalf position is Joe Pietersen who will be put under a new kind of pressure behind a struggling pack compared to his first flyhalf outing against the Sharks two weeks ago.

News 24 reports that Western Province impressed with their late running against the Sharks, albeit when all was lost. The 32-10 scoreline flattered the Sharks. But the crux of the matter is that the visitors to Loftus do not have the depth to compensate for their (grossly overstated in quantity and quality) losses to national duty and injury.

The Blue Bulls, however, have that depth to counter injuries and call-ups to, among others, four quality locks Danie Rossouw, Francois van Schouwenburg, Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha; No 8 Pierre Spies; scrumhalf Fourie du Preez; wing Bryan Habana; and fullback Zane Kirchner.

The Blue Bulls have, at times, been mightily impressive. They played with the old structure that is part of the Light Blues. They ground up front and played for territory and generally did the basics right. Morne Steyn has become a complete flyhalf with his confidence growing in the absence of Derick Hougaard.


It’s in this structure of the Blue Bulls – their expected approach to Friday night’s match – that WP could be found wanting.

There will be more pressure on Pietersen despite the experience of his scrumhalf Bolla Conradie; the Bulls will have a greater unity in the forward numbers to contend with at the breakdown than WP because of their style of play; and they have backline that is vastly boosted by the fact that Wynand Olivier has been forced to outside centre where his strength on the outside break could be very effective.

The Bulls will also exploit the fact that Schalk Brits, no great scrummager, has returned to hooker in a frontrow that does not inspire confidence at this level.

The Bulls have an impressive record in that they have scored the most tries to date in the Currie Cup competition (29 in eight matches) and have conceded only 14. WP have scored 18 and conceded 19.

That speaks volumes – and if the Blue Bulls can stick to their defensive lines and capitalise on WP mistakes which come with a running approach, the match is theirs.

Sharks coach John Plumtree concedes that his team are probably favourites against the Boland Cavaliers on Friday afternoon – even on the heavy Boland Park field in Wellington. He does not, however, underestimate the home side in what he describes as a crucial stage of the competition.

“It certainly won’t be that easy against Boland, they are one of those sides that you have to be very accurate against if you want the desired result,” he said this week.

“We know we might be considered as favourites but it is vital that we perform well. ”

The Sharks, despite their many changes forced upon Plumtree, should take the spoils against the never-say-die Cavaliers.

In the First Division the Griffons are at home to lowly Border Bulldogs and should win to keep their faint hopes of promotion alive.


  • best we can hope for here is WP limiting the Bulls to less than four tries IMO. 🙁

    And Sharks scoring 4 plus tries with a great win to narrow that PD with the Bulls

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.08.08 10:28:27 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • 5 log points for the Bulls I fear. 👿

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.08.08 10:38:04 by McLovin Reply
  • I don’t feel good about the prospects of either. Boland away is tough, because the conditions don’t make for high scores. Bulls are going to SLAUGHTER that Province team

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.08.08 10:41:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : The best we can hope for is… what can we hope for really?
    The Bulls will run away with this one. Let’s just hope the Sharks will get the job done in Wellington.

    Piet Pienaar are a grinning dude wherever they are.

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.08.08 11:23:47 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 4) : Dude – it’s Thursday morning. We ain’t going to get any more sense out of Piet for at least another 72 hours.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.08.08 11:26:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Plus that Nissan is keeping him busy.

    How do you see the final log standings now?

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.08.08 11:34:42 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 6) : it all depends on the Sharks v Bulls and Cheetahs in Durbs

    If we can win both, I think we’ll end top.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.08.08 11:38:07 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • because quite honestly, I don’t see Bulls and Cheetahs losing to anyone OTHER than us at this stage. Of course, they still have to play each other, which will hopefully decide 2nd and 3rd.

    Our match against the Lions is also going to be a huge one for us to win… we haven’t beaten them there (in the CC) in well over ten years

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.08.08 11:39:13 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Yeah…Walter won’t let us forget those stats. That match in the Coca Cola Factory will be key indeed.

    Semi’s will be in Durban and Pretoria.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.08.08 11:43:35 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 9) : Bulls still have to play Tjietas away… that said, a full strength Bulls side should probably smack the yokels with some ease.

    Then again, Bakkies out… certainly takes a lot away from their pack

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.08.08 11:53:12 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

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