The Vodacom Bulls host the Toyota Cheetahs in Pretoria to conclude their participation in Vodacom Super Rugby for the season.
Prediction from rugby356.co.za: The Bulls have won their last five on the bounce at home, while the Cheetahs have lost five of their last six on the road. The Bulls have only ever lost once to the Cheetahs in Super Rugby. The Cheetahs have spent the least time in possession this season, averaging just 13 minutes on the ball per game. The Bulls have conceded the joint fewest tries in the final quarter of matches this season (6), while the Cheetahs have conceded the most (16). The Bulls seem to have the beating of the Cheetahs because they find it so easy to smother them. It will be another win for the Bulls, but by less than 10 points.
Vodacom Bulls v Toyota Cheetahs
Date: Saturday, June 13
SA Time: 17h05
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Ben Crouse (South Africa)
Television match official: Willie Vos (South Africa)
•The Vodacom Bulls have made three changes to their starting line-up, all of them in the pack as the backline remains unchanged for this match.
•Arno Botha, Grant Hattingh, Adriaan Strauss and Morné Mellett take over at flank (from Lappies Labuschange), lock (from Victor Matfield), hooker (from Callie Visagie) and loosehead prop (from Dean Greyling) respectively.
•There are three more changes on the bench, where Callie Visagie (hooker), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (lock) and Roelof Smit (flank) have been included.
•The Toyota Cheetahs will travel to Pretoria with a new-look back trio, with Willie le Roux (fullback) and Clayton Blommetjies (wing) taking over from Coenie van Wyk and Cornal Hendricks respectively. Sergeal Petersen moves from right to left wing.
•In the pack, Henco Venter (flank) moves up from the bench, replacing Tienie Burger, while Oupa Mohoje (loose forward) is back from injury and will start on the bench.
•Van Wyk and Mohoje will be joined on the bench by scrumhalf Renier Botha, who replaces Shaun Venter and will make his Vodacom Super Rugby debut if he gets a run.
•The Toyota Cheetahs will be looking for their first-ever Vodacom Super Rugby victory in Pretoria, and only their second-ever over the Vodacom Bulls.
•The last two times the Vodacom Bulls hosted the Toyota Cheetahs, they won by six and five points respectively.
•In fact, the men from Pretoria have beaten the visitors from Central South Africa by more than seven points only three times, the biggest being in 2012, when they won 40-24.
•After losing their first two home matches of the season, the Vodacom Bulls have won their last five at Loftus Versfeld, while the Toyota Cheetahs have lost five of their last six on the road.
Vodacom Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke: “We would like to finish the tournament with a strong performance. We did not reach all the targets we have set for ourselves as a team, but I am proud of the way we have played at times during the season. Unfortunately our away-form again cost us.”
Vodacom Bulls captain Pierre Spies: “The Cheetahs team will have nothing to lose and will certainly attack from all angles, but we are also very keen to end our season on a high. We are back at Loftus Versfeld for a last time this season and would like to give the supporters something to cheer about. That said, there is no time for emotional goodbyes, as we will have to play for 80 minutes to make sure we get the right result.”
The teams are:
Vodacom Bulls: Jesse Kriel, Francois Hougaard, JJ Engelbrecht, Burger Odendaal, Travis Ismaiel, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Rudy Paige, Pierre Spies (captain), Jacques du Plessis, Arno Botha, Grant Hattingh, Flip van der Merwe, Marcel van der Merwe, Adriaan Strauss, Morné Mellett. Replacements: Callie Visagie, Trevor Nyakane, Werner Kruger, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Roelof Smit, Tian Schoeman, Bjorn Basson, Jurgen Visser.
Toyota Cheetahs: Willie le Roux, Clayton Blommetjies, Francois Venter, Rayno Benjamin, Sergeal Petersen, Niel Marais, Sarel Pretorius, Niell Jordaan, Henco Venter, Boom Prinsloo, Francois Uys (captain), Carl Wegner, Maks van Dyk, Torsten van Jaarsveld, BG Uys. Replacements: Elandré Huggett, Danie Mienie, Ewald van der Westhuizen, Steven Sykes, Gerhard Olivier, Oupa Mohoje, Renier Botha, Coenie van Wyk.
Vodacom Bulls v Toyota Cheetahs (since 2006):
Played 14; Vodacom Bulls won 13; Toyota Cheetahs won 1
Vodacom Bulls points scored: 472
Toyota Cheetahs points scored: 300
Vodacom Bulls tries scored: 54
Toyota Cheetahs tries scored: 32
Average score: 34-21 to the Vodacom Bulls