Bulls face tough task
Loftus outfit are huge underdogs at the Shark Tank against their high-flying hosts
TONIGHT’S Super Rugby match against the Sharks at Kings Park at 7pm could be the third last match for the Bulls this season before a total revolution takes place at Loftus Versfeld – but their captain Adriaan Strauss has said he would still be at the Tshwanebased franchise next season.
To suggest the Bulls will be underdogs against Robert du Preez’ side is an understatement.
Nollis Marais’ main hope tonight will be that Strauss, who has announced that he will not play in the Currie Cup, will be on top of his game alongside the centre-pairing of Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel.
Another part of the revolution will be the arrival of new coach John Mitchell next season.
Having already missed out on the playoffs and gearing towards their business end of the season, Bulls captain Strauss said his side will give their best against the Sharks.
“No, this is not my last game (for the Bulls). I will not be playing Currie Cup but I still have some time left here at the Bulls. I will be spending the next months in the gym. I did not get a lot of rest this year,” Strauss said.
“We still understand the responsibility to play good rugby. The shackles are a bit off and what is left is for us to go out there and express ourselves. We have three games left in the competition and we will go there to show intent.
“However, the Sharks will be tough, especially at the gain line.”
While the Tshwane side remains anxious following the three-week international break, the Sharks are virtually on top of the world, having had a number of players do well in the Springboks setup.
They were also in good form in Super Rugby before the break, winning four of their last five matches to stand a good chance of making the play-offs.
On the other hand, the Bulls lost four, winning just one against the Cheetahs.
Sharks coach Du Preez may have decided to rest some of his Bok stars, but he still has a strong lineup that sees young Sibusiso Nkosi starting at wing in the place of Lwazi Mvovo, while S’bura Sithole will be playing his first Super Rugby match of the year. Flyhalf Garth April will partner Cobus Reinach at halfback, with Curwin Bosch at fullback. Sharks prop Coenie Oosthuizen, who played in the Boks’ three match Test series, said they will give their best against the Bulls tonight.
“This weekend I will be givless ing nothing than my absolute best against the Bulls. They’re a very physical side and I don’t think their log position is a true reflection of where the team is,” Oosthuizen said.
POWERHOUSE: Sharks prop Coenie Oosthuizen. POTENT: Bulls’ Jan Serfontein will play alongside Jesse Kriel at centre.