Sharks 31, Bulls 16


Jake is back, and he has a star-studded line-up to take on a Bulls team that everyone has written off before kick-off.

Recent results:super
2013: Bulls won 20-19, Pretoria
2013: Bulls won 18-16, Durban
2012: Sharks won 32-10, Durban
2012: Bulls won 18-13, Pretoria
2011: Sharks won 26-23, Pretoria


Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 S’bura Sithole.

Bulls:  15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.

Referee: Jaco  Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Marius Jonker (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Facebook Comments


  1. Bulls lack confidence. Still play same game but missing those last inches. Sharks taking opportunities yet at the same time look vulnerable in many fascets

  2. I tend to agree brendon. The Bulls need confisence, they just dont seem to trust themselves. Except for Jordaans try, the sharks have only scored from Bulls mistakes so far. The Bulls really look outclassed though. Same players that werent good enough in cc, will never be good enough in Superrugby, no matter how hard you drill them in the off season.

  3. Also the Better Bulls hooker, started off the bench, Visagie is a journey man. I far prefer the sub, not even gonna try and spell his surname. Same with playing Engelbreght from the bench, I’d have picked him at 7, Du plessis was ineffective at cc level, what makes them think he’d make it at superrugby level? Jees we have very little in terms of superrugby talent. We have exciting youngsters yes, but they need a year or 2. I see much difficulty for us this year

  4. absolutely no daulight on that coetzee steal. could SANZAR let us know if that rule is now defunct?


    Have a loof for yourself. Coetzee is tackler and never releases- makes the steal and gets penalty?

    No daylight whatsoever.

  5. peyper has for years blown pro sharks. other teams beware. Shocking decision on second try and no 50/50’s gone Bulls way.

  6. 4 tries to one says it all.

    This was also an excellent example of a very
    poor sound balance between commentary and crowd.
    As it is Stransky does not have the best voice.

  7. @DavidS:

    Without the grey noise of morons trying to tell you what you are watching the atrocious quality of refereeing is very clear…

    Every game I have watched so far in the past month has eventually put me off due to the utterly useless quality of refereeing “rule interpretation”

    The IRB thinks running rugby is what draws crowds to watch the game and this is what they need to draw new watchers… what they need is consistent refereeing… and this is sorely lacking

    The IRB needs to start paying attention to what is important. The idea that it’s a losers joke that at the end of the game you have a side saying the ref was poor is very very dangerous to rugby. The idea of allowing refs to be above criticism is also highly dangerous to rugby…

  8. Guppies looked good tonight, hell their backline has got some pace to them.

    Good to see Paul Jordaan back, eve Frans looked like he is in the mood to play some rugby this year.

  9. Die Leeus het gewen maar weens swak blasers…

    Peypers is net so swak gewees….

    Dis dieselfde in Frankryk, en in Brittanje en Ses Nasies

    Die IRB beter baie vinnig darna kyk..

  10. Ons almal voel wonderlik bekke want nie een van ons het te veel papsak gedrink soos jy nie en ons almal het nog ons voortande.

    In fairness to peyper, he did refer the second try, but after 5 replays, it still did not show on the big screen so he was at the mercy of the TMO, who was apparently blind as a bat. But that did not cost the Bulls the game, they gave their best but simply are not good enough this year.

    No amount of coaching is going to change an average cc player into a superrugby player. And the youngsters will come through with time, Bongi needs to start above visagie, engelbrecht needs to start, Hougaard still isnt good enough to be a 9 and Fouche just isnt Superrugby ready IMO. No fault of his own, but he just isnt good enough.

    Im happy that the guys gave it their all, so the loss is taken on the chin, the bonus point try hurt a bit, well a lot actually.

  11. @DavidS:

    No there are no decent 9’s – Reinach the best for me, I am also not convinced Goose is 100% either so we only have Lambie really. Elton is a waste of space. Lions should invest in Marnitz

  12. Cheetah 9 who started was not bad at all (Venter??). Even Lions 9 was not bad (compared to what we have to tolerate in the WP!!)

  13. Venter had a very snappy and accurate pass yesterday, he understands space well too, put le Roux into a nice gap when he delayed his pass to hit a gap first, unfortunately Willie was looking at the defenders rather than the ball and knocked it.

  14. @Morné:

    Watched the game with the same feeling. Bulls are weak at 9 and 10. The worst positions to be weak at if you want to play Bulls rugby.

    Where did the idea came from that Hougie was a 9? Junior rugby? His pass and his box-kick are both poor. It must have been poor then also. Were the “experts” blinded by his athleticism and completely missed the fact that he lacks the most basic scrum-half skills.

    Other than that I’m pretty pleased. Scoreboard aside, the Bulls were very competitive. Away game, against most probably the toughest opponents of the season. They’ll get better as the weeks progress.

  15. I fully agree Timeo. I dont know where the 9 idea came from, he played at 13 in junior levels if Im not mistaken. Another victim of the so called utility back plan. He is brilliant at 13 and wing, poor as a 9. Id also start Piet van Zyl, allthough he doesnt fill me with confidence, but he is a massive improvement on Hougie. As for flyhalf, we have nothing. Polaard has a reputation, yet hasnt proven that at cc level yet and fouche will only ever be a cc flyhalf. Jacques Louis Potgieter should arrive soon if Im not mistaken, Id start with him, even though he is only just good enough to be am average flyhalf at superrugby level.

  16. @biltongbek:

    Predictable has nothing to do with it. The Bulls have played the same rugby for their entire existence. The All Blacks the same brand since 1975… being predictable doesn’t determine whether you win or lose. As a matter of course the Sharks have never changed their style of play since 1990… is it any wonder these are the two most successful post isolation sides in South Africa… no… does predictability affect their ability to beat the opposition… no

    And to think Habana started at scrumhalf and got shifted sideways eventually ending at wing..

  17. I recall when Hougie was first coming on at 11 for the Bulls, that our Morne here was saying that the Bulls are playing the 2nd best 9 in the country at wing.

    My question is: Where and how did the notion that he would be a great 9 emerge?

  18. @Timeo:

    I wouldnt take anything Morne says about positions seriously. Give him about 2 beers and he’ll tell you that we’re wasting Jean de Villiers at 12 and that he is the best 10 we have.

  19. @Aldo:

    Ditto for the whole of the Bulls and Boks organizations then also. Including large swaths of fans and professional commentators.

    In politics they say, one should never waste a good crises.

    SA rugby has a scrum-half crises. Don’t waste it. Find the reason why. Who or what at junior level got it so wrong? How can it be corrected?

  20. @Timeo:

    Reinach is an extreme example of how long he takes from the base of a ruck till the ball leaves his hands. Only thing going for him is that they have to watch him on the fringe because if he breaks free he is gone!

    Hougie was just plain kak.

  21. @DavidS: being predictable on attack has everything to do with whether you win or lose against teams that can handle the pressure the Bulls employ.

    I have been saying it for years, and yet nobody listens. When the Bulls meet a team that can handle their forwards they don’t know how to score points, go back and check the matches against teams that didn’t roll over against their forwards.

  22. @biltongbek:

    More seriously. Have you ever pondered in a general way why matches are won or lost.

    Here’s my attempt:
    All possible reasons falls in 5 broad categories.
    1. random luck: the bounce of the ball, injuries, referee mistakes…
    2. non-random external factors: field conditions, location, referee bias…
    3. preparedness: planning, fitness, travel time, suzi’s pizza….
    4. talent: the combined skills and abilities of players, coaches and support staff.
    5. tactics: the game-plan

    All outcomes are determined by a combination of the above, but exactly what combination, for any single game, is not always clear and is mostly subjective.

    Over longer periods, things become more clear. Both items 1 and 2 evens out. No team can be consistently successful based on luck or bad weather.
    Item 3 (preparedness) largely evens out also. All teams have about the same amount of preparing time over the course of a season. Left over differences in preparedness are mostly functions of (4) talent and resources (money).

    Which brings us to the conclusion that was obvious from the start. Success over longer periods can only be a result of superior talent and/or superior tactics.
    But inside a country, where talent scouts all fish in the same pool, talent differences are mostly a function of money (in the professional era) and economics and culture (in the amateur era).

    And now my favorite part:

    In both eras the Bulls have been the most successful South African team and in neither era have they had the most talent on their teams. In the old days, they were mostly behind both WP and Free State in the talent stakes and since, clearly behind the Sharks and perhaps little behind the Stormers.

    Which leaves only one possible explanation for their history of success:

    Ponder that, next time you say: “predictable”.

    Of coarse their game-plan has not been completely static over the years.

    Repeat the exercise.

    Identify the aspect of the Bulls game that has changed least since 1967 and you’ll have the true secret for success.

  23. Timeo, nice analysis. To your no. 4 I would add something about ethos. Living in the city with the most successful Superugby franchise I can tell you that the work ethos here in Canterbury runs through the place and all its rugby teams and there is a no bullshit die for your mates and your province professionalism that runs deep. Coming from Cape Town, I often wonder about our attitudes back there. My friends from Joeys always used to accuse us of being too laid back, too content to look at our mountain, enjoy the good wine, girls and beaches.

    Probably true but hell it is a lekker place!