for quality writing

Ken Borland

Mouthwatering clash in prospect as both Bulls & Sharks seek momentum 0

Posted on October 24, 2020 by Ken

The Bulls take on the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night in what should be a mouthwatering Super Rugby Unlocked game as both teams strive to gain momentum in the competition.

The Bulls struggled to victory in Pretoria over lowly Griquas and then lost to the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, while the Sharks, who were magnificent at the start of the year, have battlled to reach the same heights, losing badly to Jake White’s team on SuperFan Saturday at Loftus Versfeld and then meandering to a narrow win over the Lions in Durban.

Here are the areas to marvel over as Captain America takes on Black Panther:

The Sharks are out for revenge after losing 49-28 to the Bulls a month ago & have promised a different mindset – “We’re going with a totally different mindset. We took a squad of 30 that day and we wanted to look at combinations and youngsters who had shown progress to measure where they were. But it’s back to business now, we have a settled squad and a much more experienced team, with lessons learnt on that SuperFan day. It will certainly be a different ball game,” coach Sean Everitt said.

There will be pace & power aplenty in the loose forward battle as Vermeulen, Louw & Van Staden clash with Notshe, Buthelezi & Venter – “I’ve seen Elrigh Louw train for a while now and as soon as he arrived with us he showed such good energy. He’s young but confident, he loves to carry the ball and defend. Plus he’s like a sponge with how much he has picked up already. He’s an exciting player and I’m looking forward to playing alongside him.

“I played together for a couple of seasons with Sikhumbuzo Notshe at the Stormers and he has grown a lot as an eighthman. He was one of the star players in Super Rugby before Lockdown and I know what he can give, I’m looking forward to a really good match-up,” Duane Vermeulen said.

Both coaches, White & Everitt, are expecting their sides to find some rhythm on Saturday – “I would like to see more cohesion, but the guys have not played much together and we have been making changes to the team. I would just like to see more rhythm in attack and defence and the team that gets that right the quickest, that hits their straps first, will create the most problems. So far this competition has been very stop-start with lots of mistakes slowing everything down,” White said.

“Getting one’s rhythm back sometimes takes time and we were unfortunate that after SuperFan Saturday we had a bye with the Green and Gold game, we played the Lions and then we had another bye. It did not help our continuity, but I expect this weekend to see a performance from Super Rugby level. There’s no more time to hang around and wait to hit form, and I hope to see a spectacle on Saturday night,” Evertt said.

A tremendous tussle in the scrums with Marcel van der Merwe starting at tighthead for the Bulls for the first time since 2016, with Trevor Nyakane on the bench – “Marcel had surgery on his ankle but he has responded really well and now is his opportunity to showcase what he can do, he’s also a Springbok. Having played abroad he would have picked up different things and as a scrummager you learn quickly in the French league. Plus we have Trevor coming off the bench and everyone knows what he can provide,” Vermeulen said.

“When I coached Montpellier, Marcel played for Toulon and they had one of the strongest packs. He’s now had three or four weeks of practice, the conditioning team have worked hard on him and he’ll be right for Saturday. I’ve also been very impressed with Jacques van Rooyen at loosehead, Springbok scrum coach Daan Human was here this week to see him scrum and I think he was impressed too. I thought Lizo Gqoboka and Trevor Nyakane would be away with the Springboks and Jacques can scrum both sides and is an unbelievable team man,” White said.


Bulls:  David Kriel, Travis Ismaiel, Stedman Gans, Cornal Hendricks, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Morné Steyn, Ivan van Zyl, Duane Vermeulen (C), Elrigh Louw, Marco van Staden, Ruan Nortje, Jason Jenkins, Marcel van der Merwe, Johan Grobbelaar, Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements – Joe van Zyl, Gerhard Steenekamp, Trevor Nyakane, Sintu Manjezi, Arno Botha, Embrose Papier, Chris Smith, Marco Jansen van Vuren.

Sharks: Manie Libbok, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am (c), Marius Louw, Werner Kok, Curwin Bosch, Sanele Nohamba, Sikumbuzo Notshe, Phendulani Buthelezi, James Venter, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Thomas du Toit, Dylan Richardson, Ox Nche. Replacements – Kerron van Vuuren, Mzamo Majola, John-Hubert Meyer, JJ van der Mescht, Henco Venter, Grant Williams, Jeremy Ward, Yaw Penxe.

Kickoff: 7pm.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.


↑ Top