Richard Ferguson

Dummies guide to beating the Bulls

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Bulls, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 31 Aug 2010 at 10:50
Tagged with : , ,

I have had a look at the Bulls recent results, to try and spot a few areas where the Sharks can take advantage and walk away with a victory from fortress Loftus.

I started looking at their game against the Pumas, which they lost, but decided not to read too much into it, as they fielded a second string team and there is no chance they would do it against us. That said, it is nice to know that their bench is not even close to the standard of our bench.

Looking at the games they played against Griquas and Western Province, it became very apparent that they played two very different games against these teams. Against Griquas, they played with ball in hand and kept more than 70% of the possession that game. What is very pleasing though, with all that possession, they only managed to beat Griquas by one point.

Against Western Province, they seemed to play a completely different game, kicking away a lot more ball and ending up with only 53%. They made double the amount of kicks against WP than they did against Griquas. So what do we expect from them against the Sharks? Surely they took their A-game to the Western Province match, so are we going to get a lot of kicking on our back three?

On the point of kicking the ball out, lineouts are a major factor against the Bulls. For a team that have lost 4 of their locks to Springbok duty, they have a really good record, winning at least 80% of their lineouts weekend after weekend. It is really important that the Sharks compete, we have more experienced locks and should harass and make it difficult for them to play their set pieces.

One of the most interesting stats I picked up on, was that the Bulls do not commit players to defensive rucks. This means that they have more players available and ready in their defensive lines. Against WP, they hit about 366 attacking rucks, and a mere 26 on defence, and against Griquas they hit about 285 attacking rucks and only 65 on defence. (The rucks stats are for the first 3 players at a given ruck, so these aren’t the amount of rucks in a game, but the amount of people at the rucks).

On a final note, the Sharks beat the Bulls already this Currie Cup season (albeit at home), but we did that without the likes of Beast Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis or Willem Alberts, and we still had Pat Lambie at inside centre. Add them into the mix, and I think our Sharks stand a good chance of extending their winning run..


  • How awesome would it be if the bulls don’t make the semi’s! Sharks should take this but it will be a much improved showing from the bulls.

  • Comment 1, posted at 31.08.10 11:11:14 by RuckingFun Reply
  • I reckon we should take them down this weekend.

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.08.10 11:20:08 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 2) :

    If the Sharks can hold onto possession and keep the Bulls from playing their game.. we will be able to pull it off..

  • Comment 3, posted at 31.08.10 11:38:59 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • The Bulls were lucky to beat Griquas and only just beat the Leopards…the Sharks should surely take this.

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.08.10 11:45:43 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • jeez okes. LOTS of confidence here. That’s a good thing, but let’s hope it doesn’t come back to bite us.

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.08.10 11:59:18 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I told you, as long as they persist with Derrick Kuun as captain, it will be a walk in the park for the Sharks 😉

  • Comment 6, posted at 31.08.10 12:02:20 by Morné Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Was great weekend for rugby (lots of confidence gained)! Province, the Bulls and the Aussies all losing, while the sharks continued their great form and the springboks won a game with a return to keeping the ball in hand a bit more. Doesn’t get much better 😉

  • Comment 7, posted at 31.08.10 12:08:55 by RuckingFun Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 6) : Gary Botha and Deo Stegmann might be fit for this weekend…

  • Comment 8, posted at 31.08.10 12:10:13 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Rob, you’re right! I’m very careful to be overconfident, especially against the Bulls, I hope Pum gets the guys’ heads right for this game. It’s hard not to feel confident with the way the boys are going and the way the Bulls have been going.

  • Comment 9, posted at 31.08.10 12:24:56 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Not committing players to the defensive ruck will backfire for the bulls. McLeod will get even quicker ball than before and our loosies will be free to carry the ball since we won’t have to commit too many players to the rucks either.

  • Comment 10, posted at 31.08.10 12:26:57 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Really hoping for a good score against the Bulls, we have to keep them below the top four so that they do not make the semi’s

  • Comment 11, posted at 31.08.10 12:36:20 by sandras Reply

  • But let’s not get above ourselves here – remember the Cheetahs have beaten us before in the semi final.

  • Comment 12, posted at 31.08.10 12:36:51 by sandras Reply

  • And one other thing – the Sharks crumble when they get to the semi final/final. We do have to stay postive though as I truly believe this is the year for the Sharks. WP is a spot of bother though.

  • Comment 13, posted at 31.08.10 12:37:39 by sandras Reply

  • The Bulls are saying that all their good players are in the Bok squad, but what have they really done during the tri-nations? Do they think playing currie cup teams are any different?

  • Comment 14, posted at 31.08.10 12:38:27 by sandras Reply

  • @sandras (Comment 14) : Hi Sandras, haven’t seen you around here, welcome to the site.

    Bok team agains AUS:

    Frans Steyn (Racing Metro)
    JP Peterson (Sharks)
    Jaque Fourie (WP)
    Jean De Villiers (WP)
    Bryan Habana (WP)
    Morne Steyn (Bulls)
    Francois Houghaard (Bulls)
    Pier Spies (Bulls)
    Juan Smith (Cheetahs)
    Schalk Burger (WP)
    Victor Matfield (Bulls)
    Flip vd Merwer (Bulls)
    Jannie Du Plessis (Sharks)
    John Smit (Sharks)
    Guthro Steenkamp (Bulls)

    CJ vd Linde (Cheetahs)
    Chilliboy (Bulls)
    Danie Rossouw (Bulls)
    Ryan Kankovski (Sharks)
    Ricky January (WP)
    Juan de Jongh (WP)
    Butch James (Bath)

    Bulls 8
    Sharks 4
    WP 6
    Cheetahs 2
    Europe 2

    They haven’t lost that much more than WP. I know losing Boks is a disruption, but they knew this before the CC started, nothing to complain about if you don’t have the quality to back it up.

    At one stage the Sharks had to win their games without. Jannie, Beast, Bismark, John, Kankovski, Alberts, Deysel, Ruan, S Meyer, Adi, JPP, Odwa. 12 players who would quite possibly start once fit or available for selection. You can’t complain about injuries and Bok selection that’s a variable you need to take into account when planning for the CC.

  • Comment 15, posted at 31.08.10 12:54:05 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 15) : Add 6 (starting) injured/suspended players to the Bulls’ 8 Springbok players and the fact that Olivier, Potgieter and Kirchner haven’t played most of the CC. I don’t care who you are, your depth of top class quality players will start to run dry.

    Of course it did not help matters alot that Jaco “Longdrop” vd Westhuizen was a regular starter. 😯

    PS – would you have said the same thing had the Sharks been 4th or lower on the log?


  • Comment 16, posted at 31.08.10 15:57:33 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • There is a guide?????/ 😯

    I thought it was as easy as turning up for the game.

    Man they are so poor at the moment even WP would beat them.

    😛 😛
    Two birds with one stone there. 😉

  • Comment 17, posted at 31.08.10 16:01:20 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 16) : cheers? To what? A sharks victory?? 😈

  • Comment 18, posted at 31.08.10 16:02:22 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : Windgat ne, ek hoop nie dit kom terug om ons te byt nie.

  • Comment 19, posted at 31.08.10 16:04:55 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : It is OK for you to talk that way, but I hope the Sharks, players, management and coaching don’t have that attitude. 😉

  • Comment 20, posted at 31.08.10 16:07:09 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) :

    @Dancing Bear (Comment 20) :

    Having a big mouth and having to eat humble pie is not tsomething I have a problem with.

    i’ve eaten so much of it that it comes easily now. 😉

  • Comment 21, posted at 31.08.10 16:09:50 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 21) : ja, but now its all around your waist! 😆

  • Comment 22, posted at 31.08.10 16:13:41 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 21) : ja but it is not just you eating humble pie, it is all of us lamenting an unnecessary Sharks loss. Stop your selfishness man! :mrgreen: 😉 you probably like the taste of humble pie. 😆

  • Comment 23, posted at 31.08.10 16:13:50 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 23) :

    Hey i’m quite happy to spread the pie around. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 31.08.10 16:15:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Ice (Comment 22) :


  • Comment 25, posted at 31.08.10 16:15:29 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 24) : According to Ice, you already have spread the pie around (your waist). 😆

  • Comment 26, posted at 31.08.10 16:18:58 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 25) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 31.08.10 16:19:31 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 26) : ouch.

  • Comment 28, posted at 31.08.10 16:21:18 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @lostfish (Comment 28) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 29, posted at 31.08.10 16:27:25 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 26) :

    Hey you’re the only one in this conversation who has met me, so you’ll be able to tell them that it is all a bunch of ………..truth. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 31.08.10 19:04:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I am so glad SARU have appointed a top ref to this game. 😎

    Blue Bulls vs Sharks at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
    Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
    Assistant referees: Tiaan Jonker, Johan Greeff
    Television match official: Shaun Veldsman

  • Comment 31, posted at 31.08.10 19:57:24 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I really want the Sharks to give the Bulls a proper klap this weekend yet there is a nagging at the back of my head that says maybe a loss won’t be so bad. It will serve to bring the Shark’s players down to earth and show them and their supporters that they’re not invincible. It might help anyone who is getting a little big-headed to realise the if they don’t perform they will lose.

    That said, let’s hope for a bonus point victory and a good showing to down the Bulls in fortress Loftus!

  • Comment 32, posted at 31.08.10 20:26:39 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 32) : There is nothing wrong with being unbeatable. Where did you get the impression that the Sharks need a wake-up call? “Down to earth” suggests they have gone big-headed.

    Dude/Dudette, I think you are waaaaay off the mark here.
    We need to win every game from now on including the one on 31 October.

    The team had their wake-up call in the first game and they don’t need any more reminders of what they need.

    A champion team knows how to win and makes sure they find ways to do it. The Sharks are playing great rugby at the moment, long may it continue.

  • Comment 33, posted at 01.09.10 07:02:02 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Baldrick (Comment 33) : I agree

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.09.10 07:54:28 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 16) : If I add 6 to their 8 that played this weekend it’s 14 and that’s still just two more than the sharks at their worst point. And if you look at WP who at some stages also didn’t have Aplon, F.Louw, Peter Grant and Joe peterson left, Andries Bekker is injured. That makes it 11 most of this CC. So the Bulls lost 3 more players than WP, and 2 more than the Sharks, granted right now we’re in a pretty good position regarding this, so lets rather compare the Bulls with WP. Why should they be doing so much worse when they’ve lost only 3 more players than WP?

    Their preparation was bad. They basically knew who would not be there right?

    It’s happened to the Sharks before. It sucks, but that’s the team you’re putting out there, so you just have to except it.

  • Comment 35, posted at 01.09.10 08:03:09 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 31) :

    Where do you see that KSA? I was looking for that info last week when I was doing the match threads..

  • Comment 36, posted at 01.09.10 08:12:50 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 32) :

    A loss now would put us on the back foot going into the home straight..

    Our confidence will take a knock and we will lose our matches against WP and Lions then..

    Lets not be stupid now..

  • Comment 37, posted at 01.09.10 08:15:04 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Sharks will beat the Bulls again 🙂

  • Comment 38, posted at 01.09.10 08:58:04 by Jarson Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Not committing players to the ruck is a problem for the sharks as well. Instead of competing for the ball we`re happy sometimes to let the other team have it.

    Remember the lesson we learnt at the beginning of the super 14. PLAY THE GAME IN THEIR HALF! Pile on the pressure and they will make mistakes. Playing in our own half is just looking for trouble. Is Lambie`s kicking on a level that can keep them away from our line though? Kicking out of hand has been just about the only weakness in his game.

    I`m afraid we might be overconfident though. I`ll be watching this match with some bulls again ( Really have to follow up with Helen Zille about that eviction order for bulls in Cape Town again!! ) so I really hope the sharks makes me proud.. .

  • Comment 39, posted at 01.09.10 11:18:02 by Original Log Leader Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Baldrick (Comment 33) : In no way i meant to say i wanted the Sharks to lose! Perhap i came on a bit strong, so let me say this, I hope the Sharks win every single game, I’m always behind them and even now as im typing this i have a Sharks shirt on!

    Bit their is always a nagging feeling that warns about getting to far ahead of yourself. Remember what happened in the 2009 Sharks Super 14?

    I’m not saying the Sharks are getting big-headed, the players and coaches might be the most down-to-earth that they have ever been, i don’t know coz i’m not part of the squad. i just thought i’d mention the “big-headed” factor as i don’t think we should all get to ahead of ourselves. The Sharks r on the top of the log NOW and even if they don’t lose another game and end the season on the top of the log, it won’t win us semi’s or finals.

    Again don’t get me wrong, I want our boys to win and r behind the 100% yet there’s still half a tournament to play.

  • Comment 40, posted at 01.09.10 18:27:15 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 36) :

    Oops only saw the question now. 😳

  • Comment 41, posted at 01.09.10 18:34:05 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.