Home Vodacom Super Rugby 2018 Preview – Vodacom Bulls v Hurricanes

Preview – Vodacom Bulls v Hurricanes

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All eyes will be on Loftus Versfeld this weekend as an expectant public wait to see what the Bulls serve up under new head coach John Mitchell.

“Blue Bulls rugby” will no doubt be consigned to history and the Pretoria side will be much fitter after Mitchell’s notorious brutal pre-seasons.

Mitchell, credited with the turnaround just over the Jukskei at the Lions is being looked at to do the same at the suffering union.

Renowned as an innovator and meticulous planner much is expected from the Bulls this season although the squad lacks the quality of previous Bulls teams.

A win or even a quality performance against the Hurricanes will certainly go a long way in signalling the new dawn at Loftus.

The Hurricanes however will not allow any hometown sentiment to creep into their preparations and will look to settle into their quick fire systems very early to take the game away from the Bulls.

The records shows that the Hurricanes has won there last three matches against the Bulls with the Bulls home record also not looking good with five losses in their last few outings.

Players to watch:

Burger Odendaal is not just the captain of this side but he comes off a great Currie Cup of 2017. He is a initiative player and showed that he is a great leader. Strong runner who can think on the field and have the skills to back it up as well.

Warrick Gelant has to keep the form that saw him get his first cap for the Boks last year. One of the players we need to see perform this year.

Predictions: The Bulls have a pretty good side on paper and playing the Hurricanes early on gives one a better change maybe to get a win. I am going out for a win to the Bulls by 5 points

Team:

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Nic de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Divan Rossouw

Hurricanes: 15 Matt Proctor, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Ihaia West, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 James O’Rielly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ben Lam

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I must say that I am looking forward to the game, but I can’t see the Bulls pulling off a win. To much quality in that Canes side. The Bulls have a lot to work on and sort out. I hope to see improvements across the park. But I hope you are right PJLD

  2. I hear John apparently has game plans worked out 4 weeks in advance, so the Bulls have been working on this game for 4 weeks already

  3. Mitchell probably needs at least 1 super rugby season before his plans, drills and systems start paying off. I wouldn’t read too much into the first half of the season for bulls, one way or the other.

    Must say I didn’t think the bulls had a particularly strong squad, but that team looks ok – tight 5 isn’t really in the league of some other SA teams but maybe some talent can be developed – which can only be good for bulls and SA.

  4. The Bulls, like the Stormers, have a real tough start, Canes this week, then Lions, then tour I think, to come back and play the Stormers. Could look at 1 or even 0 from 6 before we wipe the sleep from our eyes. John and they guys need to start early and start well. No time to waste, as it is difficult to come back from 0 from 6.

  5. Kotze vs Savea…. I can see tears flowing. Our frontrow vs theirs, I really hope Frans van Wyk is as good as they say, cos Jaco Visagie is not a strong strumming hooker. Kriel still at 13, hope he has learnt how to read backline moves on defense

  6. I wish we could move on from the Kriel at 13 phase in our rugby. Maybe I am missing something and know nothing, but he has not impressed me as much as he seemed to impress two consecutive Bok coaches.

  7. Just saw that Gelant will miss the clash due to a knee niggle. Divan Rossouw to make Superrugby debut and Duncan Matthews takes his place on the bench

  8. @Craven:
    Can’t agree more.

    Keeping players like Vorster, Frans Steyn, Lionel Mapoe, Rohan Janse Van Rensburg and Lukanyo Am from much more deserved Bok colours

  9. @DavidS:

    For me Mapoe should have been first choice for the last two seasons at least. His form for the Lions has been great and he has been one of the form 13’s in Super Rugby during that time.

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