KSA Shark ©

Bulls provide Bok Sample

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, Bulls, In the news, Springboks on 1 Jun 2009 at 07:41
Tagged with : ,

The Bulls may have provided a foretaste of the international season ahead when they beat the Chiefs 61-17 on Saturday to claim their second Super 14 rugby title.

Rugby 365 reports that when the Bulls last won the title in 2007, by beating the Sharks, their success ushered a season of South African dominance in test rugby crowned by the Springboks’ victory at that year’s World Cup in France.

The conspicuous roles of many Springboks players in Saturday’s record-breaking win at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria may stand as a warning to the British and Irish Lions of the magnitude of their task when they meet South Africa in three tests in June and July. The Lions, already depleted by injuries and indicative of the current weakness of Northern Hemisphere rugby, opened their tour of South Africa on Saturday with an unconvincing 37-25 win over a
composite side.

At almost the same time, South Africa clinched overall victory in the International Rugby Board Sevens series at the last stop of the season in Edinburgh, further stressing the depth and strength of South African rugby. New Zealand teams have won 10 Super 12 or 14 championships and, concurrently, eight world sevens crowns; achievements which have generally translated into test series success in those seasons.

New Zealand’s Super 14 wins have generally been followed by victory in the Tri-Nations series and other test matches; notably in 2005 when the Crusaders won the Super 14, and the All Blacks won the Tri-Nations and swept the Lions in three tests.

South Africa now seems in a position to use the Bulls’ outstanding season as a springboard to success this season, against the Lions and in the Tri-Nations series.

Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Victor Matfield, Wynand Olivier and Pierre Spies, who were among the Bulls tryscorers Saturday, are likely to be key members of the Springboks team that meets the Lions.

The Bulls were, by far, the best and most consistent team in this year’s Super 14, winning 11 of their 14 matches and maintaining an unbeaten record at home. Criticised in the past for unambitious of play, they developed a much more expansive style which exploited the talents of wing Habana and centre Olivier.

A pack led by Matfield and Springboks locking partner Bakkies Botha provided the Bulls with an outstanding platform in set pieces, while No. 8 Spies was superb in the loose, punching the ball through midfield to create space for Habana.

The Bulls had the second best attacking record of the regular season, and the seventh best record on defence. They were able to play seven of their last eight regular season matches in Pretoria, where they enjoyed the Super 14’s most emphatic home advantage.

In the last two weeks they beat the Crusaders, who they deposed as Super 14 champions, then the Chiefs, who were playing a final for the first time.

“The last two weeks have been the best two weeks of my life,” Matfield said.

“We started working for this in November. It showed that if you work hard you’ll get the result on the field. We had no injuries in the last few weeks and that helped.”

Double tryscorer Habana praised the Bulls’ team unity.

“We have a very special group of players. It’s amazing to be part of an unbelievable team and we have laid the foundations for future generations of this team,” he said.

“We knew the Chiefs would come at us and they scored that first try, but we knew if we could keep our composure things would come good.”

The Chiefs had their best season, setting aside their record as the worst-performed of New Zealand’s five franchises. They reached the semifinals for only the second time in 14 years and hosted a semifinal for the first time, beating the Hurricanes 14-10.

The final, in front of 50,000 raucous Bulls supporters at Loftus Versfeld, proved a step too far.

“We weren’t allowed to play by the Bulls,” captain Mils Muliaina said.

“That was a world class performance and well done to them. They thoroughly deserved their win and title.”

The Bulls gave South Africa their second Super 14 title but were markedly stronger than their compatriots. The Sharks pressed for a semifinal place until the last week of the regular season, but were ultimately denied by the Bulls. The Lions and Cheetahs were both uncompetitive.

New Zealand provided three semifinalists, emphasizing its continued strength. The fact the Chiefs were so severely outclassed Saturday may have concerned the New Zealand selectors who named their first squad of the season on Sunday.

Australia were left with more cause for concern after failing for the third time in 14 years to qualify a team for the final four. The Brumbies and Waratahs came closest, but were both eliminated in the last regular season round. The Western Force performed moderately while the Reds finished 13th of 14 teams.


  • Wow to the Bulls, they played amazing rugby….The Boks can play like that any day..I don’t think there is a team in the world that would have beaten the Bulls on Saturday at Loftus.Congrats 😎

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.06.09 08:28:52 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • The Lions and Cheetahs were both uncompetitive.

    sad but true


  • Comment 2, posted at 01.06.09 08:44:34 by wiLLem Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : Waar’s JOU blou trui? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.06.09 09:04:00 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Your a real old sourpuss 😉 ….it must hurt if you have such a hate for anything light blue 🙄

    They played brilliant rugby and that is a fact….

    another fact is that their supporters are( mostly ) idiots… 😈

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.06.09 09:28:43 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 4) : I support the Sharks, dude. If they win, I’m happy. If someone else wins, I’m not.

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.06.09 09:32:47 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) :
    Thats the Rob we all know and like! 😉

    I dont mind giving the Bulls loads of credit – but I’m still wearing my Sharks jersey.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.06.09 09:39:30 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 6) : let’s not get too excited j*rking off to Steve Hofmeyer… hell, if the stupid Sharks had just scored 2 more points in the last round, the picture could have been compeltely different.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.06.09 09:45:11 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : @robdylan (Comment 7) : hehehehe chill dude….I’m still a Sharky to the death…..but I also acknowledge good rugby

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.06.09 09:48:47 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : with you all the way rob, one bulls fan said to me yesterday “you’re a sharks fan, ha ha, you guys did not even make the semis” and that mentality is why i do not like the bulls

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.06.09 09:49:48 by war1 Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 6) : yes – I did my best to support them, uhmmm sorry .. to back them on saturday. but now I am pleased to be back to normal.

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.06.09 10:02:04 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 10) :

    VERY subtle but VERY BIG difference there, well corrected. 😛

    Nuances of the language are not always understood by us ESL people. 😉

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.06.09 10:12:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : ESL 😯 who are you ❓ are you sure you are people :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.06.09 10:18:30 by rekinek Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) :


    I am Afrikaans. 🙂

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.06.09 10:27:11 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Geez you guys are sour, the Bulls are the best team in SA at the moment give then their time in the sun, they deserve it!! @war1 (Comment 9) : War 1, I know a fair amount of Shark Supporters who were just as arrogant after the Currie Cup last year, so lets not genralise. If you guys were totally honest a fair amount of you were fairly arrogant at the early stage of the super 14 as well, but life has a habit of kicking us up the arse and now we have to change what happened this year and kick the Bulls arses next year!!

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.06.09 10:34:14 by Whindy Reply
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  • Excellent game by the Bulls! I really enjoyed watching it and I am not a Bulls fan but you have to acknowledge good rugby when you see it.

    I hope the De Villiers will draw on the positives of the Bulls game plan for the Boks.

    I also enjoyed seeing the “Royals” giving the Lions a good scare.

    Finally a big congrats to Paul Treu and his boys, for an outstanding Sevens Series win – you did us proud. Treu only used 17 players all season, showing the virtues of Jake Whites famous drum tune on consistancy in selection.

    All in all a very great week-end for SA rugby.

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.06.09 10:35:53 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 13) : so that makes me ESL too and I shall not be afraid to use it as excuse whenever necessary 😆

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.06.09 11:05:56 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Dive Pass (Comment 15) : I never thought that I would cheer on a team called the ‘Royals’ so loudly. 😀

    It was a great rugby weekend.

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.06.09 11:27:26 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @rekinek (Comment 16) : 😛 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.06.09 11:39:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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