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Sharks to leave the Tank


Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 20 Mar 2014 at 10:24
Tagged with : , , ,

The Sharks are set to face the Bulls at the Fortress, Loftus Versfeld, for their away fixture on Saturday evening.

The Sharks haven’t had much luck at Loftus and have to go back as far as 2011 for their last away victory, 26 – 23. The Sharks lost both their games against the Bulls in last year’s Super Rugby competition, 19 – 20 at Loftus and 16 – 18 at Kings Park. The overall record against the Bulls is also not looking that great, with the Sharks only winning 3 out of the last 7 games, two home games and one away.

The Sharks have started their 2014 campaign in the best possible way with four wins from four games, as they beat the Bulls 31 – 16, Hurricanes 27 – 9 , Lions 37 – 23 and last week the Reds 35 – 20. All four of these games have been homes fixtures for the Sharks, with them also picking up two bonus points for scoring more than four tries (against the Bulls and the Lions).

The Bulls on the other hand, have had a much slower start as they lost to the Sharks in their first game and to the Cheetahs 9 – 15, but looked much better at home as they beat the Lions 25 – 17 and the Blues 38 – 22, picking up two bonus points for losing within 7 points and scoring four tries.

With four wins from four games the Sharks are at the top of the overall log as well as the South African Conference on 18 points. They have scored 130 points and conceded 68, with 12 tries for and 5 against. The Bulls are 6th overall and 3rd on the South African Conference with 10 points. They have won two and lost two from their four games, scoring 88 and conceding 85, with 6 tries for and 7 tries against.

One problem area for the Sharks over the last couple of games would be the snooze mode they find themselves in at the start of the second half, they usually finish the 1st half strongly but don’t feed off that momentum at the start of the second half.

A positive for the Bulls is they welcomed back one of their own in Jacques-Louis Potgieter. Potgieter, who left the Sharks to join French clubs Bayonne and more recently Dax, returned to Loftus and immediately brought experience and a controlled game as he played a major part in both of their two victories.

Potgieter can make it very difficult for his former team if he keeps the score close at the start of the second half, and if the Sharks keep with their current trend of going to sleep after half time he could just be the man to swing the game in the Bulls’ favour.

Kick off is at 19:10.

Bulls (Super Rugby caps): 15 Jurgen Visser (15), 14 Sampie Mastriet (1), 13 JJ Engelbrecht (37), 12 Jan Serfontein (16), 11 Bjorn Basson (59), 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter (44), 9 Francois Hougaard (60), 8 Dewald Potgieter (66), 7 Jacques du Plessis (5), 6 Deon Stegmann (76), 5 Victor Matfield (128), 4 Flip van der Merwe (67, c), 3 Werner Kruger (96), 2 Callie Visagie (27), 1 Dean Greyling (42).

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi (5), 17 Morné Mellett (13), 18 Marcel van der Merwe (7), 19 Paul Willemse (8), 20 Jono Ross (8), 21 Piet van Zyl (35), 22 Handré Pollard (3), 23 Ulrich Beyers (4).



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