April 30, 2010 in Uncategorized
Hey fellow bloggers!
This weekend will go a long way with regards to establishing who will finish top of the pile at the end of the Super 14. Having said that, there are still two rounds after this one so should the Bulls or Stormers lose, all will not be lost. There is no way I will miss the Stormers vs Crusaders game (And boy will I be rooting for the men from the Cape of False Hope) but the game of most interest for me is Bulls vs Sharks.
Not only because of the repercussions it might have for the Super 14 log and the slight hopes the Sharks are harbouring to make the semi’s but also in the interest of Springbok rugby.
There are some very interesting match ups:
Du Preez vs Pienaar vs Kockett
Spies vs Alberts
Victor/Bakkies vs Muller/Sykes
Front row vs front row
Loosies vs Loosies
The centre pairings.
All of these match ups will provide plenty entertainment in itself and I think the game will be a thriller. Unless of course if the Bulls come out firing and score 1 or 2 early tries. Then, I’m afraid, the Sharks will be in for a very long afternoon.
Looking at the two centre combinations, I believe the Bulls have the upper hand. In Olivier and Potgieter (who according to me is grossly underrated) the Bulls finally have a pair that can run defenses ragged. Olivier has been devastating close to the line and has made many breaks, although I thought that he has not distributed the ball too well. Potgieter showed in his limited opportunity last weekend that he has the eye for a gap as well as the distribution skills. The jury is still out on how the pair will do on defence and how they will gel offensively. On the sharks side we have Swanepoel and Terreblanche. Terreblanche is a legend, a stalwart in the Shark side. The ability to turn nothing into something, but I fear that his days as a real threat is slowly coming to an end. To be honest I have not seen a lot of Riaan Swanepoel, but hear that he runs hard and straight. I hope that Steyn and Goode (Bad?) can get enough ball to the two centre pairings so that we can see what the two pairs can deliver.
The other match up that really interests me is the Bakkies vs Muller battle. Bakkies has had a looooooong rest and I hope that his match fitness won’t be too big a problem. Even if he only plays for 50 min or so. Muller has long been the “second in line” lock in the country but I believe there are about 5 other locks better than him at the moment. They are, in no particular order Danie Rossouw, Anton van Zyl, Adriaan Fondse, Flip vd Merwe and the out of this world Andries Bekker. Not even mentioning the tried and tested Bakkies/Victor combination. I think that both Victor and Muller has something to prove with relation to Bekker’s incredible form at the moment. I think with Bakkies back next to Victor and with Muller and Sykes out to prove a point, this will be a battle royal!
I truely hope that the Bulls put the Sharks away and strengthen their bid for a home semi and final. I believe the team whose forwards dominate and the match up between the centres will go a long way in determining who will have the bragging rights at the end of the game.
Just as an added note, I actually don’t think the sharks will make the play offs (even if they win all three their games with bonus points) as historically 41 points is about the minimum to get in, and 15 points will put them on 40…… Just a thought
Have a SUPER weekend!