Heyneke makes all Bulls Boks
Pierre Spies (Gallo Images)
Some things are easy to anticipate or to predict.
For instance it was only natural that Heyneke Meyer would select 13 Bulls and only 3 Stormers despite the Bull’s being the Stormers’ “pet” in this year’s Super competition; despite the Stormers defeating the Bulls on Newlands and Loftus and the Bulls going down to the Stormers on both venues; and yes, despite the Stormers winning 85% of their games thus far in the Super competition and the Bulls only 62%.
It was crystal clear that mediocre Jacques Potgieter would play ahead of the best newcomer since Schalk Burger, Siya Kolisi, because Kolisi is a Stormer and Potgieter a Bull.
Despite all evidence indicating the contrary, it was easy to predict that Blue Bull Morne Steyn would be preferred ahead of sharpshooting Stormer, Peter “Bash” Grant.
Even the inclusion of Zane Kirchner ahead of Joe Petersen and Gio Aplon; Wynand Olivier and JJ Engelbrecht ahead of Juan de Jongh and Robert Ebersohn; and the exclusion of the brilliant Heinrich Brüsssow were easy predictable.
Certain things cannot be predicted, one being the massacre of the “giants” by the Stormers and Lions last night. “Kolise and Habana Night” became the Bulls’ own“Bartholomew Night”.
With three rounds of Super rugby pool games remaining and with the Super Series taking a sabbatical the leaders of the South African Conference look like this:
Team Games Win Points
Stormers 13 11 54
Bulls 13 8 49
Sharks 14 8 45
Excluding anything remotely close to bent science; and working on reasonable expectations the situation should play out like this:
The Stormers have the Lions, Cheetahs and Rebels left and with Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen, Andries Bekker, Stephen Kitshoff and Joe Petersen back they should win the lot and top the SA conference. If the Chiefs loose against the Crusaders the Stormers might top the combined log.
The Sharks have two more games to go (they will receive 4 points for the by), one against the Bulls and the other against the Cheetahs. None of these games will be easy and especially the Bulls’ game will be a cliff-hanger.
The Bulls return to the competition against the Cheetahs and although the men from Bloemfontein can beat any team on a good day the Bulls should win this. The Bull’s clash with the Sharks on 6 July will be massive and will determine who will advance to the playoffs. If the Bulls win it will be them and if they lose it will be the Sharks. There is little to choose between these teams and the difference could very well be the venue, Durban.
A quick look at the overall log indicates that the Brumbies and Reds will probably be in the play-outs and that the Chiefs and Crusaders will represent New Zealand.
The top spot will be determined by the clash between the Chiefs and the Crusaders.
If the Crusaders win the Stormers could top the overall log and if they do it could very well be the year of the Stormer.
Well actually, if the Stormers do not win the series and play a home semi-final it will already be a graphical humiliation of the new Bulls’ – sorry, Bok coach. But then again, it is easy to predict that Heyneke will stuck to his players even if the Bulls fails to reach the play outs.
That seems to be the nature of Meyer: stick to the Bulls at all cost.