Sharks all set to Bull-y their visitors
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