With the Semi Finals coming up next, I am already hearing people ranting about a WP Bulls Final at Newlands. Both teams recording wins in their final games of the round stages.
I ask myself the question. Was the Bulls just that good, or was the Lions just that horrid? Up until the 59th minute, the Lions was in the game, despite starting the team with a few key players on the bench. Two easy tries gave the Bulls the gap they needed and the rest as they say is history. Morne Steyn looked decent in his first outing, and it comes to show the wonders a few weeks off can do to you. The question still remains, whether he will revert to the boot, or actually start changing his execution?
Western Province totally humped a hapless and perhaps toothless Cheetahs side. Playing all their returning Springboks, the game was always going to be a gamble for AC and his chargers, but with the thought of possibly playing in a Promotion/Relegation game, he opted to use the experience of his Springboks, and in essence turn the Western Province into the Stormers. The Semi Finals will be a repeat of last year’s fixtures at the same phase of the competition and both the Bulls and Western Province will look for revenge come Saturday.
The Sharks, many argue have the best team on paper, and they should easily discard of the Bulls. I need to remind my fellow Shark supporters to write off the Bulls at their own peril. I for one know how painstakingly close such a game can be called. In recent years the Sharks have opted to raise their game the moment they face their old Blue Foe. I would honestly approach the game with Test Match mentality. The Sharks can easily win, but it once again comes down to the players doing the job on the field, rather then run their mouth before hand. There is many scenario’s to consider, but I believe that John Plumtree will make the correct calls.
You can either chase the game, or come out all guns blazing. There will also be a few interesting match up’s, and this once again values the importance of the Currie Cup as our Premier Domestic competition. My team for this weekend (I know it is rather early) will look like this:
16 Herbst, 17 Cooper, 18 Alberts, 19 P Marias, 20 Coetzee, 21 McCleod, 22 Bosman./Mvovo
The option of playing the Boks from the bench is one, but I would not choose to chase the game. The choice to have only 2 backs is to counter the Bulls up front where they will look to lay their assault. Botes is a scrapper, and I think he will do well. He also brings experience to the game and will know exactly how to disrupt their game. The Back replacements must either be one of the two, Bosman can cover Flyhalf and Centre, Mvovo is a wing but should a Centre be injured, then JP can slot into that spot. Don’t be surprised if Plumtree picks JP at Outside Centre to make way for a extra speedster. The only way to beat the Bulls is to play against them with their own strength which is playing with your forwards and laying a good foundation for your backs. And also to keep the scoreboard ticking. This game will be physical, and it will be fast paced and I for one cannot wait.
The key players will be the frontrow, Loosetrio and the back three. I think JP will have a good game as this is probably one of his better years in a Black and White Jersey. Bring it on!!