Bulls call on your support to beat Sharks

Bulls call on your support to beat Sharks

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With first place on the Vodacom Super Rugby log a real possibility for the Vodacom Bulls, they will be hoping to fire on all cylinders when they host The Sharks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday evening.

There are still tickets left and Bulls supporters are urged to come out to support their side.

Playing at Loftus, the Vodacom Bulls and The Sharks have had equal success over the years – four wins each and one draw from their nine encounters in the South African capital.

These matches have generally been quite close, with the average score 20-19 in the favour of the Durbanites perhaps showing they have a slight edge when travelling to Pretoria.

But The Sharks’ season has not been easy and it’s something the Vodacom Bulls would like to capitalise on as they aim to repeat their victory in Durban from late May.

“We will face a Sharks team that will be desperate, as they need to win to keep their play-off hopes alive, but we have also goals to achieve and to get there we need to keep on winning,” said Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said.

Vodacom Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter said the focus will be solely on doing the basics right as a team: “We are not looking at the bigger picture yet. We need to beat a very strong Sharks side packed with class players and lots of experience. We need to back ourselves, execute what has worked for us for far and most important, show up as a team on Saturday.”

Hugh Reece-Edwards, who shares the head coach responsibilities with Grant Bashford since John Plumtree’s time at The Sharks ended recently, said they were approaching their Loftus visit as a must-win clash.

“We’ve always gone up there and known how we want to play the Bulls and that’s worked for us at times and other times we’ve been physically dominated,” said Reece-Edwards. “We are very aware of their physicality and certainly we know we need to be physical if we want to be in that game.

“The result we need is to come back with a win to have any chance of staying in this competition.

“We have some talented players, some talented backs, and although we don't have a huge number of backs, with what we've got we can certainly play exciting rugby. We know we have to keep the ball in hand for long periods of time against the Bulls and that doesn't change regardless of the style of rugby we want to play.”

The teams are:

Vodacom Bulls: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Morné Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Dewald Potgieter (captain), Jacques Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Grant Hattingh, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling. Replacements: Callie Visagie, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Jono Ross, Francois Hougaard, Jürgen Visser, Morné Mellett.

The Sharks: Riaan Viljoen, Odwa Ndungane, Louis Ludik, Butch James, Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel (captain), Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Edwin Hewitt, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Kyle Cooper, Wiehahn Herbst, Jandré Marais, Jean Deysel, Jacques Botes, Cobus Reinach, Jaco van Tonder.

Kick-off SA Time: 19h15
Referee: Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)

Head to head (since 1998)

Vodacom Bulls 10 Won 8 The Sharks
Average score 21-18 (Sharks)

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Jul 05, 2013
Vodacom Super Rugby, The Sharks, Loftus Versfeld

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