SR: Vodacom Bulls 23, Cell C Sharks 19

March 22, 2014
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imagesThe big questions is: Can anyone beat the Sharks?

The Bulls believe they can, if they play to their true potential – more like their performance against the Blues a fortnight ago. However, they are up against a team blessed with having two genuine playmakers in their backline in Pat Lambie and Francois Steyn. The Sharks have shown they can play both an expansive game and handle a gruelling forward battle up front. A trip up to Pretoria looks to be their toughest test to date, although they did record a comprehensive 15-point victory over the three-time champions in Round One this year.

Back on track after two straight victories in the opening weeks, the Bulls have shown they might not be a spent force in Super Rugby after all. Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White admitted they are looking forward to finally playing on a dry field on the Highveld – after some testing and humid conditions in all four their home games. “I don’t think anybody can say we are conservative, given that we have scored the second most tries in the competition,” White told this website in an interview. The Sharks have scored 12 tries in their four games, and conceded five – with only the Blues, in 11th place and Hurricanes in 12th place who have more, both scored 13 in the same number of games.

“Our outside backs have scored 80 percent of our tries,” the Sharks boss said. “To get up there on the Highveld, with a nice hard field, and be able to move the ball around is something we are looking forward to.” The Bulls are determined to kick on from their two recent wins. “For us every game is important,” coach Frans Ludeke told this website.

“We are up against a team in good form, playing good rugby and unbeaten,” he said, adding: “That makes the challenge so much more interesting. “However, we have to put the past [last four games] behind us and come up with an 80-minute effort. “We are at home and must win if we want to have a say in the competition.” While a lot has happened since the Sharks beat the Bulls in Durban in Week One, Ludeke admitted some tough lessons were learnt from that outing.

“Our reaction at the breakdown was slow and our ball carriers turned over too much possession at the breakdown – that put us under pressure,” he said. “We created opportunities, but were disappointed that we didn’t convert those into points. “That [converting opportunities into points] will be critical this weekend. “Discipline is another factor.

“We need to ensure we are on the right side of the calls in all aspects – set pieces, breakdown, etc.” Both teams have the ability to put the opposition under pressure on the scoreboard with penalties, which means dominating up front will be crucial. Both teams have lost Springbok locks to injury – Pieter-Steph du Toit out for the rest of the year with a knee injury and Flip van der Merwe for a couple of weeks with a hamstring strain.

Recent results:
2014: Sharks won 31-16, Durban
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
2011: Bulls won 32-23, Durban

Teams:

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Dewald Potgieter, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Jono Ross, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 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 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Andre Esterhuizen.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommenstein (South Africa)

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88 Comments

  1. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Well how do you top that win from the Lions over the Reds….lets hope this one is as exciting as the Lions great win…

  2. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    JP Pietersen gets his 100 cap

  3. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    En as Steve sing dan weet jy jy is op Loftus

  4. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Loftus het ‘n nuwe meiskind in Dewald Potgieter :)

  5. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Lambie to kick of this match

  6. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Hougaardt with kick ahead and Lambie take high ball…..maul once and kick a high one on Bulls which Sharks knock on……

    Scrum Bulls outside their own 22…..

    Penalty Bulls and Jannie binds on the arm…..

    Bulls kick out for lineout inside Sharks half of the field

  7. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Be the first time i see the sharks play live. Want to see if Jake is doing anything new/interesting or has he just been winning against a few weaker teams at home in a very favourable draw?

  8. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Kickable penalty for Sharks….as Bulls do not release in tackle…..

    Steyn goes for points…..

    missing it wide and score stays 0-0……Lambie off the field miss that one

  9. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    TRY !!!!!! Sharks!!!!!through Alberts…..

    Cobus break through and work the ball out wide to Alberts….

    Sharks lead Bulls 7-0

  10. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    @Cheetah Glory: Not really same old Jake but it works

  11. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Bulls goes with high ball from lineout again but sharks get away with it….Frans Steyn goes for the drop and just puts it wide

  12. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Bulls keep playing their territory game….which I believe is stupid with Frans Steyn in the Sharks team….9 out of 10 they will loose a kicking dual with him……

    Buls however gets inside Sharks 22 with nice backline move….

    Penalty and they go for poles……

  13. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    OVER!!!1 from Potgieter….

    Sharks lead 7-3….

    Cobus also off the field and Charl on for him and the Sharks

  14. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    A lot of kicking in the game

  15. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Bulls get penalty from maul and kick for line….

  16. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Bulls hammer Sharks with great hands and Potgieter puts a drop gaol over…

    Sharks now lead 7-6

  17. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Sharks goes with short passes with Bulls taken the ball off …..Bulls kick down field and Sharks run the ball…great defence from Bulls to turn ball over just to loose the ball while he goes for the gap…..

    This Bulls team has come to play

  18. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Sharks get a penalty and Steyn put the Sharks on a attacking lineout inside Bulls 22

  19. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Bulls defence keeping Sharks out of the line for more than 12 phases…gets penalty and kick it down field for lineout..

  20. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Kicking contest going on and Hougardt win it with ball out 5 meters from Sharks line

  21. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Bulls back in Sharks 22 with lineout for Sharks…

  22. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    A few stupid mistakes from both teams keep the game from moving on ……

    Sharks gets penalty and Steyn goes for poles…..

    OVER!!!!!

    Sharks lead 10-6

  23. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Sharks going nowhere through a lot of phases and final gets a penalty and goes for poles……

    Steyn to kick……

    OVER!!!!!

    Halftime Score Sharks leads 13-6

  24. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Bulls to kick off second half

  25. avatar Americano says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Sharks showing patience & being responsible with meager portions they get from Zee Bulls

  26. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Bulls scrum just outside Sharks 22…..

    Bulls are kept up in tackle and Sharks to put in on their own 22

  27. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Sharks kick deep from scrum……

    Bulls runs it back but Sharks turn it over and kick down field just for Visser to kick the ball out …..

    Sharks lineout just outside Bulls 22….

    Sharks go on attack….

    Alberts loose the ball and Bulls attack from deep……

    Bulls goes through phases juts too loose the ball in a bad pass….Scrum Sharks in their half of the field…..

  28. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    @Americano: They struggling in scrums

  29. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Bulls get free kick from scrum and start running….

    TRY!!!! Jacques Du Plessis as they break straight through Sharks defence…..

    Scores are level at 13-13

  30. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Ross on for Steggman

  31. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Bulls put huge pressure on Sharks lineout and force then out for Bulls lineout

  32. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Hougardt breaks free but gets ball lost in tackle…

    Scrum Sharks…..

    Bulls putting huge pressure on Sharks team

  33. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Free kick sharks from scrum and Steyn over cook the kick and direct out…Sharks a bit rattled at this stage

  34. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Basson through Sharks line and Bulls on the line

    TRY!!!!!! BULLS !!!!!! JJ the man over in the corner…..

    Brilliant from Bulls

  35. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Brilliant Pressure from Bulls on attack and put one over a tired looking Sharks team

    Score: Bulls 20 Sharks 13

  36. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Jake said he had the Bulls number…he should have had all the numbers and not just the one as it looks now….

  37. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Bulls just look like they have so much time do anything and Sharks are rushing everything….

  38. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Bulls are winning the kicking game hands down…this after I said they must not go into a kicking dual with Frans…how wrong was I?

  39. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Bulls dominating the lineout…….and maul the Sharks ……

    Sharks in real trouble in this stage of the game and need to get in Bulls half

  40. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Sharks with a rare lineout win……

    Bulls gets penalty in breakdown for holding on from Sharks….

    It is all Bulls at this stage……Kicking for lineout in Sharks 22……..

    Bulls run from lineout……

    turnover from Sharks and they kick down field…….Bulls in a little bit of trouble but Bulls kick out through Visser

  41. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Sharks stick to their kicks and loosing the contest but do get the Bulls to knock on and they have a attacking scrum just outside the Bulls 22

  42. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Piet Van Zyl on and Hougie move to wing

  43. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Beast also off for the Sharks

  44. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Sharks goes off the back of the scrum but loose the ball and scrum to Bulls now…..

    Bulls defence is perfect tonight…

  45. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Penalty Sharks in the scrum…..Sharks going for points…..

    Steyn kick is OVER!!!!!!

    Bulls lead 20-16

  46. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    4 point game with 13 min left…..

    Bulls kick directly out from Kick off …….scrum Sharks……..

    Sharks kick deep and Visser takes mark

  47. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Referee do not check the foot up from sharks in scrum……..

    Sharks get penalty for Bulls player off their feet in ruck…..

    Steyn goes for points from his own half…….

    Steyn kick OVER!!!!!’

    Bulls now lead 20-19

  48. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Bulls missing tackle but lucky for them Sharks loose ball forward scrum Bulls

  49. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Penalty Sharks rom scrum and Steyn kicks it back into Bulls 22

  50. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Sharks gets the lineout and move through the hands……Steyn goes for Drop but miss….

  51. avatar Aldo says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    It has been all sharks for the last 10 minutes. This is nail biting stuff! What a game

  52. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Sharks doing all the paly now and Bulls defend for all they worth…..

    Sharks spill the ball and Bulls kick through…..Sharks kick down field….

    Bulls put high ball up and Sharks knock the ball ….4 min left…..

  53. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Pollard on for the Bulls as Potgieter goes off with an injury….

  54. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Sharks push Bulls off the ball but Bulls take ball off……

    Pollard goes for drop but Bulls get penalty ….will this sink the Sharks with 2 min to go……

    Pollard to kick the penalty…..

  55. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Pollard OVER!!!!

    Bulls lead with 4 with 1 min left

  56. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Sharks on attack…..

    Penalty Sharks on half way and Steyn goes for the line on Bulls 22…time almost up……

    Sharks take lineout…….

    Bulls turn over and times up and Bulls beat the Sharks!!!!!!

  57. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    What a game from Bulls they outplayed the Sharks for about 60 min of this game….

    Jake did not have the Bulls number at the end :)

    Bulls win 23-19

  58. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Ok so sharks merely the new Stormers. Mega hype machine but no real threat to world equilibrium.

  59. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    @Aldo: Great game and the Bulls showed everyone that they are still their to compete….

    Sharks loose first game and it is their first away game

  60. avatar Aldo says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I am about as happy as I have ever been with a Bulls win. Thank you for closing Jake’s trap!

  61. avatar Americano says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Zee Bulls @ home in the Death Star & with the aid of their fans the “Legion of Doom” beat back “The Maestro” Jake White & his weary C-Cells.
    Good win for Zee Bulls & Frans Ludeke is a happy camper

  62. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Brilliant games of Rugga today from South African team…first Lions beating the Reds from behind and then the Bulls win against the Sharks against all believe…

    Sure the Superbru points this weekend is low for most supporters

  63. avatar Americano says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Can’t wait till these two behemouths of SA rugby face off again.
    I want Jake to amp up double drama Aldo….
    Just to get your goat.
    Yes this is sport but its also entertainment. Jake’s yapping adds to the atmosphere

  64. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    @Aldo: Drink a big one on your team Aldo they outsmart the Sharks and widget Jake the snake

  65. avatar Aldo says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I got really worried towards the end, it seemed as if Steyn was going to take this game and wrestle it back for the sharks

  66. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Victor with a big smile and well deserve from the old man he is making a huge difference in this Bulls team

  67. avatar Aldo says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Haha americano, it adds to it yes and makes it so much better when we do win.

    Bunny I dont really drink anymore so I’ll have a long coffee on them.

  68. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Big passion from Frans Steyn so nice too see…what a big man

  69. avatar Aldo says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Anyone thinking these guys only play for money, have a look again at that Steyn interview. That is what it means to these guys. Hats of to him.

  70. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    @Aldo: Go for it I will have a Scots on your and Dawies team brilliant games today from them

  71. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    @Aldo: That’s what you want to see from our guys

  72. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    I am very concerned that the big names in SA Rugby are still for the most part the stand-out performers. Burger has a great few games, Vic doing very well, Frans back to form, JPP back in there etc etc.

    That golden generation won 1 world cup, but almost 10 years later we dont seem to generate the kind of players to once more dominate world rugby?

  73. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    In contrast the pesky Ozzies are once more doing a lot with very little.

    And if a few injuries strike, HM will have to make do with very little…

  74. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Guys we overrate our coaching and our talent ID systems, not to mention our development of players. Yes we have loads of players, but the mere fact that we still talk about the Steyns and Burgers and Matfields at this stage is proof enough that the well is drying.

  75. avatar DavidS says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Bloody hell…

    Can we have that Mike Fraser guy for every game as referee… it is the best refereeing so far in SR…

  76. avatar DavidS says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    @Cheetah Glory:

    Steyn is 26 Brendon!!!!

    twenty f***king six….

    Liewe f**ken hel…

    At that age your favorite recipient of a Brendon-blowjob, BOD, was considered a beginner

    Why should we not be talking about him… and in the absence of the likes of PSD and Etzebeth Matfield is the man… and to be perfectly honest he is the best lock in the whole SR so far not just SA… and to be perfectly honest Paul Willemse showed he has bulked and he added big oomph to the Bulls this week…

    But yes in other respects there can be no doubt the well is drying…

    Just not in terms of the kak you’re talking.

  77. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Dawie you have too much anger for a public forum. Rather go talk race politics on twitter with your inbred mates.

  78. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Does not matter how old Steyn is – he is part of a previous generation of players who for some reason cannot be surpassed 8 years later.

    Were we just THAT good then, or are we doing something wrong?

    And yes, Ireland have HUGE issues now at 13 because they now have that gap to fill. Problem is SA seems to have 5 or 6 positions that for some reason we just cannot fill with world-beater stars.

  79. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Just in case nobody noticed:
    Sharks lost both their halves in the
    first five minutes.

    As far as skills and exiting moves are concerned
    it was a very kak game, but that’s how the Saffa
    teams prefer to play.

  80. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    @Boertjie:

    boer dont you dare critique anything we do. we are the gatekeepers of rugby and our way is the only way.

    :-)

  81. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Why did Jake use Kanko today as another battering ram? Now after 3 good weeks Kanko is back to being a kak ‘ball carrier’ when he should never be used that way?

  82. avatar DavidS says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    @Cheetah Glory:

    I’d like to introduce you to some of them to cut your stupid fingers off and feed them to you…

    Moron

  83. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 23rd, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Yep that ‘drying pool of youngsters’ in Gauteng are beating some of the best ‘up and coming talent’ that NZ and Aus can throw at them…

  84. avatar Duiwel says:
    March 23rd, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Good game Bulle.
    Watch the old blood pressure Oom D.
    Hallo Oudste.

  85. avatar DavidS says:
    March 23rd, 2014 at 10:00 am

    @bryce_in_oz:

    Built in inferiority complex…

    Duibel…

    Welkom droom bouer

    lekker aand en sorrie oor jou span…

  86. avatar Timeo says:
    March 23rd, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    The nicest thing about this win is how much the Bulls have improved since week one and how they once again perform much better than the pundits predicted pre-season.

    How do they get it so wrong year after year? I think it has something to do with the religion like belief that the Bulls’ game plane must be easy to counter.
    Evidence be dammed. This year is always the year the Bulls will be “found” out. The penny just never seem to drop.

  87. avatar Morné says:
    March 23rd, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    @Timeo:

    Slow down.

    They have been great at home, which they always are.

  88. avatar DavidS says:
    March 24th, 2014 at 7:27 am

    @Morné:

    No Morne

    Their record at home against the Sharks before this weekdn was just 50/50…

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