Vodacom Super Rugby – Round 17
The Vodacom Bulls travel to hot and humid Singapore to face a defiant Sunwolves outfit at the National Stadium. There is still a mathematical chance that the men from Pretoria can make the knockout stages of the competition with Handrè Pollard and his charges ready to do what needs to be done in Asia to ensure that they put themselves in contention to secure valuable log points against the Sunwolves.
The Sunwolves will have their tails up as they prepare for their match against the Vodacom Bulls after winning their last fixture against their South African counterparts. However, in total, the Sunwolves have lost three of the four matches that have been contested between the two teams.
Vodacom Red Rewards
The Vodacom Red Wild Dogs Experience took place last week in the Kruger National Park. Vodacom Red clients were joined by Vodacom Bulls coach John Mitchell and players Lood de Jager and Trevor Nyakane to observe the awesome work being done by SANParks, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and the State Vets to help preserve the African wild dog.
Vodacom Red clients can still register their entry to attend the Vodacom Red Family Day, happening with the Vodacom Bulls team at Loftus Versfeld later this year, by clicking www.vodacom.co.za/redrewards
The Vodacom Bulls will be without the services of regular captain Burger Odendaal with the inside centre nursing an injury he picked up in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge but head coach, John Mitchell, has included newly capped Springboks RG Snyman and Jason Jenkins as his lock combination with Embrose Papier named at scrumhalf.
Prop Pierre Schoeman has served his suspension and starts at loosehead while the loose trio sees the return of Hanro Liebenberg, Jannes Kirsten and Marco van Staden who have recovered from their respective injuries to start against their Japanese opponents.
Jaco Visagie will start at hooker while Edgar Marutlulle will provide cover from the bench as Mitchell opted to give uncapped props Simphiwe Matanzima and Morne Smith the chance to gain valuable Vodacom Super Rugby experience should they be called upon off the bench.
The Sunwolves have been the perennial underdogs in Vodacom Super Rugby thus far, but they will be buoyed by the fact that they have claimed the scalps of the DHL Stormers and Reds in 2018. Having included the services of three former Vodacom Bulls players Gerhard van den Heever, Hencus van Wyk and Grant Hattingh, the Sunwolves will know a bit more about their Pretoria opposition.
The Winning Formula
On paper, the Vodacom Bulls have a host of standout individuals when compared to their Japanese counterparts. But it’s all about the teamwork.
If the big forwards can dominate up front and set a platform for the backs, a win should be the result. The likes of Pollard, Kriel, Ulengo and Gelant should have more than enough firepower to cross the line for the men in blue.
Remember to make your picks and you could be the one winning the Yellow Cap in the Vodacom Bulls Fans Pool and walking away with an LG handset.