Sharks all set to Bull-y their vis­i­tors

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

THERE was a time when a Pre­to­ria team vis­it­ing Dur­ban was as­sured of their for­wards out­muscling their hosts and then bul­let­ing the ball out to the fly­half (scrumhalf Robert du Preez to Naas Botha for the best part of a decade), and the ball was then de­posited near the cor­ner flag for the line-out drive. Not go­ing to hap­pen tonight. I am not say­ing the Bulls for­wards are pow­der-puff but the Sharks pack has the best set-piece in Su­per Rugby, so the only bul­ly­ing that is go­ing to be done in the scrums and line-outs is by the men in grey and white. There is a rea­son why there has been a re­volt in Pre­to­ria — no pack wor­thy of the legacy of the blue jersey, no back­line that has a clue what to do and a coach that is look­ing to the heav­ens in the hope of a mir­a­cle ev­ery time the TV cam­eras switch to the Bulls’ box.

Good luck to John Mitchell to sort out this dispir­ited bunch. He is in the USA with the Ea­gles — how Bulls fans will be wish­ing that the for­mer All Blacks coach was in Dur­ban tonight.

Strangely, the one thing the Bulls should be ca­pa­ble of do­ing tonight is run the ball now that a de­cent back­line has taken shape. But op­po­site them is a Sharks back divi­sion that is one of the best in the coun­try. Ask the Storm­ers, the last (de­feated) vis­i­tors to Kings Park.

And watch out for An­dre Ester­huizen, a Bulls-dozer if ever there was one. The cen­tre is mak­ing his come­back from sus­pen­sion and will be in men­ac­ing mood. He was the early pick for the Bok No 12 jersey (along with Ro­han Janse van Rens­burg), and he is go­ing to want to give a re­al­ity check to Jan Ser­fontein

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