News24

Bulls’ Boks need to front up

2012-07-17 14:20

Cape Town – Several Bulls forwards possibly face a do-or-die game on Saturday (09:35 SA time) in terms of their Springbok aspirations for the fast-looming Rugby Championship.

These are slightly uneasy times for a franchise renowned for the ruggedness of their pack play, let’s face it: the Bulls eight were comprehensively out-muscled in most facets in that Durban hammering from the Sharks, and then had a surprisingly rough ride at scrum-time against the embattled Lions despite otherwise doing what was necessary at Loftus to ensure onward passage into the Super Rugby playoffs.

This weekend in Christchurch sees arguably an even greater threat to their collective reputation as the Crusaders, seven-time champions and as well-greased a scrummaging unit as exists around the world in first-class rugby, entertain them in a finals series qualifier.

It is bad enough that history points heavily to a Bulls exit from the competition at this juncture: whether in knockout or round-robin play, the men from Pretoria have come a cropper every time in that New Zealand city from the late 1990s onwards.

Almost as often, results there haven’t even been especially close: the last away game the Bulls played against these foes may have been in smaller Timaru, some 150km away, in 2011 but the visitors suffered the rare indignity of being kept scoreless in a 27-0 loss.

On that occasion, even with such street-wise veterans as Victor Matfield and Bakkies and Gary Botha in their starting midst, ace goal-kicker Morne Steyn only got one opportunity to call for the tee – he missed his attempt – which was a reflection of the Crusaders’ broad dominance on the day.

Despite such gnarly customers up front now being well out of the picture, the Bulls have retained pretty strong Springbok representation in their engine room, even if some of it is currently not of the “first choice” variety: names like props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger, lock Flip van der Merwe and flank Dewald Potgieter come to mind.

Nevertheless, the last Bok team to have played an international, the disappointingly drawn third Test against England in Port Elizabeth, also boasted three Bulls customers in the starting engine-room: Juandre Kruger, Jacques Potgieter and Pierre Spies.

Even before that series was completed, many neutrals raised eyebrows at what was perceived to be a reasonably Bulls-heavy Bok environment, given that new national coach Heyneke Meyer’s most recent (and extended) prior posting had been at Loftus.

Certainly the past fortnight or so would have done little to quell any suspicion, rightly or wrongly, that a few men in blue aren’t currently worthy of their higher, green-and-gold status.

What better way, then, to rout the doubters than for the Bulls pack to genuinely “pitch up” in Christchurch and gain an edge over opponents who will be tipped for fairly widespread ascendancy on current form?

Particularly under a harsh glare, you would think, will be the prop duo of Greyling and Kruger, quite likely to be targeted for set-piece heat from formidable rivals Wyatt Crockett and either or both of the Franks brothers, Owen and Ben.

While wise judges of the scrumming game will be quick to remind that it takes more than just the front-rankers to “tango” in this department, it is also said with some conviction that dominance begins, or at least should, with the front-rankers.

If Bulls loosehead Greyling and No 3 colleague Kruger could not get the better of the Lions’ largely unsung JC Janse van Rensburg and Jacobie Adriaanse last Saturday, do they even have a sniff against the Crusaders’ renowned, treble-pronged prop onslaught?

Both Bulls men are industrious outside of the scrums, with Greyling a sometimes fearsome ball-carrier and Kruger always an admirably honest tackler and cleaner.

But props are surely to be primarily judged on their main trade ... and it here that this “Bok B” pair (both got Tri-Nations starts abroad last season in Peter de Villiers’s controversially weakened party for the initial part of the programme) have just not been cutting the mustard of late, for whatever the reason.

There is also some pressure on No 5 lock Kruger -- who I felt deserved more ticks than crosses for his maiden Bok series against the English -- as Andries Bekker is back in the hunt for the “athletic” lock spot in the Rugby Championship.

The gangly last-named player appears to have finally put niggling back problems to one side and proved as much personally in an otherwise rather lethargic and unpolished showing by the Stormers against the Melbourne Rebels at Newlands.

With Bekker back breathing down his neck, Kruger must not only excel at his strong lineout suit against the ‘Saders, but perhaps also contribute forcefully in other respects during the qualifier.

Of course there is the eternally vexing matter of Spies: the now-seasoned No 8, to his credit, had in an overall context a highly respectable series against England.

But more recently, back in combat for the Bulls, I would argue that their captain has regressed into an old habit of going quiet for just too long in matches ... even if he is suddenly likely to do something of great prowess that simply screams “notice me!”

With his path on Saturday probably cleared to a great extent by the expected absence through injury of All Black rival Kieran Read, Spies could do with an industrious performance from start to finish to underline his continued right to Bok eighth-man duty.

Certainly a few Bulls backline players, notably the halfback combination of Francois Hougaard and pivot Steyn, would be appreciative of a potentially pressure-relieving, revived forward effort against the Crusaders, as they are not exactly watertight either in terms of their Bok statuses right now.

So from a bigger-picture point of view, as much as anything else, the Bulls must make sure they are not emphatically eaten for breakfast in Christchurch ... that event could just be a catalyst for fairly widespread changes in Springbok personnel soon.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Sport24

Comments
  • tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 14:25

    three super titles, how many for the stormers? and i am first again

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 14:29

      and bulls if you could keep the pasting the crusaders are looking to give you to a maximum of 10 points, i will be paid on the handicap. so please try win and if not, lose by less than 10 thanks. i dont know how i will be able to wake up on saturday to watch this game without k*kking my pants

      Stirrer - 2012-07-17 14:33

      @ Retardis: "Past prowess is no substitute for current shortcomings". 'Nuff said.

      andre.j.h.cloete - 2012-07-17 14:36

      Let's hope ALL the SA teams make us proud... We (Bulls & Bulls Supporters) face a lot of critisism form a few teams and their supporters... But let's support our SA teams Bulls, Sharks and Stormers alike?

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 14:36

      i dont understand what you talking about power for? are you mentally ok?

      paul.sdoow - 2012-07-17 14:37

      how many points did the bulls get last year against the crusaders? . o ya nul nothing not even a bonus point for effort.

      henri.lombard - 2012-07-17 14:38

      listen carefully, you are only as good as your last performance. my poor Lions(Currie cup Champs 2011) are on the chopping block against a far less attractive team.

      jono.qmann - 2012-07-17 14:53

      im sure you K*k@ your pants every morning regardless! but anyway... Sharks front row, stormers 2nd row, Alberts, Kolisi and brussouw!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 15:12

      still listening, and i cant hear anything. what am i listening for?

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-07-17 17:12

      Ek het dit - die enigste antwoord wat sin maak! Tom, Charlie, Harold en Johan Spies is almal alter egos van Wynand Olivier! enigste antwoord wat sin maak - hy het ni n regte job nie, so hy kan die heel tyd hier trol!

      johan.spies.18 - 2012-07-17 20:36

      @fransd Foeitog, bietjie van 'n chip op jou skouertjie?

      thomas.cannon.712 - 2012-07-17 22:38

      Go Bulls you can do it!! You are up against a real class outfit but on a one game decider anything can happen!!!

      TravieGrif - 2012-07-18 10:49

      @Jono...how do you get to leave Marcell Coetzee out? He is better than Kolisi at this stage. Not to say Kolisi is not good, just that Coetzee is better.

      john.comyn.18 - 2012-07-18 11:22

      Turdis - to be honest with you I think you poo in your pants often. Nevertheless wear a Huggy nappy on Saturday. I'm really hoping the Bulls can pull through on Saturday. The Stormers are waiting for their "Bunnies" so we can klap them for the 3rd time this season.

  • andre.j.h.cloete - 2012-07-17 14:32

    GO BULLS! It is a hard match that awaits you, but we know its possible! Make us proud! And to the Sharks, good luck against the Reds!

      jack.bleck - 2012-07-17 17:01

      and if you can't beat them - at least injure as many as possible!!!

  • jason.children - 2012-07-17 14:32

    Interesting times ahead. I cant see the Bulls beating the Crusaders in Christchurch! HM will have some hard thinking to do. I think I have finally made my Superbru choices......................Saders 25 - 11 Bulls (bulls have leaked a lot of tries this year and the Saders attack is dangerous) Reds 17 - 13 Sharks (gonna be a tough game) and before you all jump down my neck I will be screaming for both SA sides and I will be happy if my Superbru is completely wrong. SFL

      morne.vandyk.58 - 2012-07-17 14:36

      Saders by 15 and Sharks by 6

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-07-17 14:37

      The Sharks might surprise us, but probably not the Bulls. The Crusaders also had a few shockers this year but will probably shape up at home.

      jason.children - 2012-07-17 14:40

      People are forgetting that Lambie and Steyn are not there and the Sharks dont travel well.

      paul.sdoow - 2012-07-17 14:41

      hey Jason how many points did the bulls get against there guys last year? o ya that's easy they didn't not even a bonus point for losing within 27 points difference.

      maakdiebulle.almalbokke - 2012-07-17 14:55

      @paul Slow brain, against there guys ?It should be against THEIR guys

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-07-17 15:21

      actually Jason, the Sharks are one of the better SA sides when travelling. Sure, Australia's not our happiest hunting ground but we had a good game against the Tahs before imploding and beat the Brumbies in Canberra(which we hadn't done in a good long while). Steyn and Lambie will be missed but losing Cooper is also a huge blow for the Reds

      paul.sdoow - 2012-07-17 15:22

      no makethebullsbiaatches it should have been these guys . not their or there. amazing how all the bulls are anal about spelling? says them wearing their jean pant

      johan.spies.18 - 2012-07-17 15:29

      Jason Well with 11 chins in your way you can`t see anything anyway. You are disgusting, buy a treadmill. Of eet minder en poef meer

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-17 15:37

      @False Doc,atleast he is man enough to put a pic of himself there oh how dumb of me that is your real life pic?Oubaas se brak Get a life for once and start to talk some sense.

      jason.children - 2012-07-17 15:38

      Johan Saffa Spies Dr Death what ever your name is today you nasty excuse for a South African and you huge disappointment to the Afrikaans people, why dont you come up with better material! You are boring in your one dimensional insults! I wouldnt mind them so much if you actually had something to say about rugby once in a while. Instead you sit there typing one handed while rubbing one out slagging off South Africans who actually live in SA and didnt run away to face malpractice law suits...........and breath lol

      johan.spies.18 - 2012-07-17 16:13

      @Jason And after all of that... you still fat. Sound medical advice repeated: Eet minder en poef meer

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 16:15

      completely hate the "at least we are brave enough to face the murderers and rapists" argument but then again, what do i know? nick mallet said the stormers will win the super 15 in the studio

      jason.children - 2012-07-17 16:21

      @Johan, stop giving medical advice even if you think it is sound, thats why you had to flee the country the first time. Next Canada is gonna boot you out! Put up a pic of yourself.................Oh no wait you need to have a spine to be able to do that! LOL you are a joke..........not a very good one but a joke none the less!

      johan.spies.18 - 2012-07-17 16:25

      @Jason Glad I'm giving u a good laugh, but after all of that... you still fat.

      TravieGrif - 2012-07-18 10:58

      @Jason, I would ignore the stupid insults. I also get annoyed when the discussion gets personal, but there are some wonderful people out there! Having said that, I don't agree with the Sharks being poor travellers. I am of the understanding that the Sharks have one of the best travelling records in the tournament, but the reality is that history has so little to do with the 80 minutes on the park. See what happened against the Lions, followed by the performance against the Bulls. It is going to be really tough, and there really are no easy games in this tourney, especially in knock-out stages.

  • bryan.s.mcconnell - 2012-07-17 14:36

    Gotta agree @tom.tardis.... although certainly not the best Bulls outfit this season, kudo's have to go to a team that have surprized many by reaching this stage of the competition. Will we beat the Crusaders come Saturday? Probably not but the usual suspects will be calling for the heads of certain players in this team while their own 'çonference' champs have yet to win any silverware!!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 14:49

      i love my bulls but if we are realistic the chances of a win over the crusaders in highly unlikely. if they pull it through i will be amazed and elated. but overall pleased with the season considering our team was changed so drastically with the ysters that were retired and/or moved overseas

  • Stormkaap - 2012-07-17 14:40

    They will have to front up big time! I actually used to amaze myself how Schalk burger used fly into tackles but I see the bulls have 2 players fly into rucks and tackle with even more gay abandon, the "potgieter'' Bros..And of course the Bulls will need a big game from Spies to 1. make some impression of the Crusaders, if they have to have any chance of progressing. 2. make an impression of the Springbok selectors.

      andre.j.h.cloete - 2012-07-17 14:43

      I agree... They need to pull their socks up!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 16:15

      how is pulling their socks up going to help?

      Stormkaap - 2012-07-17 20:02

      To cover your mug!

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-07-17 14:43

    A couple of reasons why we won't make it: 1. Spies is half a player and not a Captain at all. He should not be in the team and the only thing close to the game is his ego. 2. Werner cannot scrum - was SO evident in 3rd test and against the Lions last week, so there will be huge pressure on Hougi. 3. Morne is no Carter and if you're in the team only due to your kicking skills, you should not be on 70%. 4. Wynand will revert to his normal game and Basson will, once again, only touch the ball once in each half. 5. Ludeke cannot coach - and do not tell me "we did well after losing so many star players" - fact is, we did well during the first half of the S15 when we still had Heyneke's coaching team. We lost 4 from last 6 and the 2 wins were home games against Lions and Cheetahs which means nothing. We lost, at Loftus, against Stormers B - and I was at Newlands this Saturday and their A team did nothing to impress me (so my money is also not on the Stormers to get further than the semis).

      andre.j.h.cloete - 2012-07-17 14:50

      @ Rinus: Bit of a bleak outlook there Rinus? I think the boys can make it... Also the Stormers stand a chance? I mean it is at Newlands? Maybe they will finally put a stop to this title drought? The Sharks can also pull through come to think of it?

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-07-17 14:59

      Andre, maybe a bit bleak but realistic? Stormers' luck might just last long enough to finish the season at the top but the Saders know how to play (and win) finals so I really think it's a bridge too far - mentally. Had Steyn and Lambie played, I would have given the Sharks the best chance - you could see someone like Steyn's impact in the game against the Bulls...

      andre.j.h.cloete - 2012-07-17 15:06

      Valid points... But nonetheless... Lets hope they can make it even with the scales tipped against them...

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-07-17 15:42

      I'll never stop hoping!!

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-07-17 17:17

      Rinus, I have to agree with most of what you say. Another point - the kicking game is not Hougaard's natural game, so he looks slow and ponderous when he tries it. Which puts Morne under pressure, as well as the rest of your back line. He looks so dangerous when he does those little sniping breaks around the scrum/ruck/maul... I hope the Bulls pulls it off against the Crusaders - if only because the Stormers have a terrible record against the Crusaders as well... a bit of a bogey side for us. So do us all a favour and knock them out...

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-07-17 17:37

      Absolutely Frans. It was evident in the game against the Lions that the tactics changed slightly - Hougi was llowed to play his natural game with only a couple of kicks. I think there was only one of those "treintjies" where they try to put distance between the scrumhalf and the opposition (and then they still manage to block the kick becuase EVERYBODY knows what's coming!). Wynand also passed more than he did during the rrest of the season and Basson had game time! Even JJ had a few good runs. And there was no pressure on Morne so everything went rather well (apart from the scrums where we missed Flip behind Werner). But come this weekend, we'll probably revert to Ludeke (and Heyneke's) "safe gameplan" that boils down to kick (no 9), kick (no 10), kick (no 9), "treintjie" and kick (no 9), Steyn pass and Olivier "stormram" into his opponent, kick, etc. etc. If we have ANY chance, we need to try an open game and surprise the Crusaders. Something different. The NZ and the Saders knows this type of game-plan too well and they have 99 answers to it. But I think I'll eat my Bulls jersey if I am wrong...

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-07-17 17:49

      LOL - agreed Rinus. I would love the Bulls to win. Firstly because bthey are a SAFFA side, and secondly because the Crusaders are the Stormers' bogey side... At least we know the treintjie is a thing of the past soon - the IRB is bringing in a rule change which will limit the amount of time the ball is in a ruck before it has to be played. I hope the Bulls try something a bit different, they have in Basson one of the most devestating runners, and I really liked JJ against the Lions - he's got a good step on him, and is fast and big. Akona is always good. Zane is solid. Morne can be good behind a winning pack, and Hougie can be devestating if he gets free reign. The Potgieters are absolute maniacs - i rate them both, although you do not have an out and out fetcher, so I would start with Stegman. In fact, I would play both Potgieters - Dewald at 8 - and Stegman, and drop Spies to the Bench... but we all know that's not gonna happen...

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-07-17 18:01

      Love that last "never gonna happen" plan of yours. Only if Spies gets injured - and that also cannot happen without contact. With a bit of luck one of the Potgieters run into him during practice. Or his ego trips him. But yes, I understand that you'll prefer the Bulls (you've managed to beat them with your B-team a couple of weeks back!) because Carter and McCaw has the Stormers' number and things will only change when they retire. So let the hope not fade and let the ball bounce right (more than once) and may the rugby gods frown on the Saders! But I'll still back them for a win on Superbru!! :-)

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 19:11

      yap yap yap...the real question is have any of you stormers fans put money on the stormers to take the cup...the real cup? cos i sure as hell have not. i have evn taken money on the bulls. everyone in the top 6 except the stormers which will mean i will still make a profit if the chiefs or saders opull it off

      stompies.hattingh.5 - 2012-07-17 20:11

      rinus, why dont you get yourself another team to support, it seem the Bulls are never good enough for you!

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-07-17 20:59

      Stompies, why don't you get yourself a real opinion? It is your type that just disappear from the forums the moment the Bulls lose....

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 22:01

      bulls can lose, there are still so many stormers supporters to hack off

      john.comyn.18 - 2012-07-18 11:28

      70% !!!! I think you are being generous. Morne is closer to 50%

  • steve.impala.75 - 2012-07-17 14:45

    I just know one thing...you never, ever make the bulls the underdogs!

      andre.j.h.cloete - 2012-07-17 15:10

      That's the attitude steve!!!

      press.enter.12 - 2012-07-17 16:21

      Yes - but on the other hand - the thrust of Houwing's article is spot on, it really is in the hands of the players he mentioned to prove their Springbok worth - most of them are strangely of the pace in this Bulls squad at the moment - after this they will only have themselves to blame - nowhere to hide come Saturday . . .for some this is probably their last chance to shine.

  • lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-17 14:55

    Maybe if Dean Greyling concentrated on playing rugby and not trying to act like fat over weight WWF star they might get somewhere,WTF is up with him trying to bully everyone.Concentrate on playing the ball and not the man. Good luck Bulls

      lablue.phoenix - 2012-07-17 15:09

      Hey hey, it's WWE now.

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-17 15:12

      Apologies :):):)

      johan.spies.18 - 2012-07-17 16:58

      @lionel Imagine how he will bully all the fatties in the Stormers team

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-17 18:20

      He's a SB so it must be working for him.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 22:00

      yes he is one mean Sum'B*itch

  • charlene.casquilho - 2012-07-17 15:11

    crusaders by 24 points sorry but bulls need total revamp

      lablue.phoenix - 2012-07-17 15:18

      Yes! The Tshwane Tigers! They can play in Yellow with Blue pants and Pink pants for the aways games.

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-17 18:23

      They don't need a total revamp they need some tweaking

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 22:00

      charlene, tits or gtfo

  • charlene.casquilho - 2012-07-17 15:13

    but still good luck to bulls

  • welhman.boesak - 2012-07-17 15:46

    Bulls all the way,we'll crush the Crusaders in Christchurch,wat dan!!!

      niel.walt - 2012-07-17 15:55

      Beat maybe, but highly doubt ud crush them

  • grant.butler.104 - 2012-07-17 16:06

    Bulls must start with Steggmann to try and combat the dual threat of MC Caw and Todd at the breakdown....I reckon this is going to be a lot closer than a lot expect! Go Bulls...

      Rich - 2012-07-17 16:17

      I agree Grant and If Read can't play then thats a huge loss for the Crusaders.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 16:18

      how is stegman going to counter other fetchers? he is a fetcher

      Rich - 2012-07-17 16:24

      Because you need to steal your share of ball.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 16:53

      yes steal it, but you are not going to steal a ball from yourself. nullifying fetchers gets done with cleaner outers

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-07-17 17:06

      Bwahahaha... 'cleaner outer' - is this a new rugby term, Tom? One you created yourself? lol No, you counter fetchers by speeding up your game, and letting the ball do the work, and not doing the crash ball like Wynand... He is the biggest culprit, he probably loses 50% of the ball when he goes into the crash ball either by turnover, knock or penalty for holding on...

      Rich - 2012-07-17 17:56

      To counter and nullify mean different things Tom. I'm not talking about clearing out. What I'm saying is if The Bulls don't have a genuine fetcher and they come up against a side with two genuine open side flankers (if Read doesn't play) who are able to get over the ball, stay on their feet and pillage then they will win a lot more ball at breakdown time which in turn creates more opportunities and wins penalties. The Bulls need a fetcher who can steal enough ball to try and counter the possession that RM and MT will be securing.

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-17 18:36

      Rich the front rows do most of that work in SA Rugby and even in NZ rugby. Tom is correct to counter a fetcher you need some good cleaner outers .. Wales were up against the 3 best fetchers in the world at the same time at one point ( Pockock, Gill and Hooper ) in their Oz series but they didn't have much impact in terms of pilfers because Wales had good cleaner outers .. Frans what do you know ? You don't counter a fetcher by cleaning them out ? is that what you're saying guru ? You're not even familiar with the term 'cleaner outer' DKWSITTP Frans

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 19:04

      yes i agree, wynand is a liability when there are players outside of him all the time and he chooses to run it. costs us 3 tries per half. but i still dont understand why everyone wants a fetcher to combat other fetchers. yes put a fetcher in to fetch but please dont tell me stegman is there to steal balls when we have the ball. when we have the ball we need spies to come to the party with flip, jacques and dewie to clear out their pigs looking for truffles. otherwise we will lose the ball. start stegman for sure but he is not there to win back the ball after we lose it to mccaw and whoever else is their fetcher. if he is there to rewin lost balls, then u may as well replace the whole forward pack so that we dont lose it in the first place. stegman will steal their ball. that will be his job. he will do it well. he is a god among gods

      Rich - 2012-07-17 19:33

      Random, the front row do a lot of work, especially the hookers who should be able to play like a loose forward these days, but this is mostly done when a team is defending against a side that is attacking around the fringes of a ruck. However, when a side is defending at scrum time in open play and quite often at line out time it's mostly the loose forwards that get to the breakdown first and force turnovers or win penalties.. Last weekend the Crusaders were dominant at the breakdown winning the battle ten to one - Richie and Matt winning most.(both genuine fetchers). Richie is regularly the first player to arrive at a breakdown and during the first test against Ireland he arrive first 34 times. I understand what you're trying to say and I agree that having good cleaner outers nullifies the efficieny of the fetchers at the breakdown, but thats not the point I was trying to make - what I don't agree with is that genuine fetchers have little impact at the breakdown and at securing turnovers. I guess we'll have to see what happens this weekend and the breakdown stats will make for interesting reading.

      Rich - 2012-07-17 19:45

      Tom, please read the thread again and stop smoking that herb while commenting. "but i still dont understand why everyone wants a fetcher to combat other fetchers. yes put a fetcher in to fetch but please dont tell me stegman is there to steal balls when we have the ball" No one suggested this.

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-17 20:56

      Point taken Rich.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 21:46

      thanks rich for good reading. good point and i wonder how jaco peyper will blow the breakdowns. im very scared we are going to get pinged for everything while the saders will be given leeway. often i think these refs give in to players reputations, the crowd and overcompensating for being from the country of one of the teams competing in the match.

      Rich - 2012-07-18 03:19

      I'm hoping that the main discussion points after these playoffs will be how well or how poorly the sides play with very little reference to the standard of refereeing. That would certainly make a nice change.

  • JoffeyCampino - 2012-07-17 17:16

    27 - 0 last year, true. But that was last year, things have changed, it is virtually a new Bulls team and to have achieved what they have done is good, so give at least some credit. Whilst Steyn has been poor, the guy is the leading points scorer shows credit towards his talent, thing is never write a team off regardless. I for one don't understand why the Stormers would rather play the Crusaders than the Bulls? Or Sharks in that matter, it quite simply means that either the Bulls (if they win) will play play Stormers at home or Sharks at Newlands - 2 weeks traveling back to back .... I just don't get it, if ever there was a golden chance of becoming champions this is it, so let the Bulls and Sharks win, show support Stormers.

      niel.walt - 2012-07-17 22:06

      Aaron cruden is the highest point scorer and morne steyn has no talent, he can, I mean could kick and that's it

      niel.walt - 2012-07-18 08:28

      Stand corrected, he is highest scorer. Still sucks tho

  • leeOnearth - 2012-07-17 18:10

    Heres hoping the springbulls get their balls kicked and lose like they should do and will do...

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 19:07

      another idiot who doesnt seem to grasp the fact the boks have more sharks in it than bulls. well done leeonearth, u have achieved the highest honour of idiocy....tom's imbecile of the day award

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 19:17

      and from one imbecile to another, i say well done

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-17 21:30

      Is that what happend to you lee ? Got your balls kicked when you were younger ? I pray that you get better soon lee

      Craven Luyt - 2012-07-17 22:17

      Hi Lee are you related to Edwill van Aarde? Craven

  • steven.loots.33 - 2012-07-17 18:24

    Some nice reading. Go Bulle. Go Sharks.

  • Christopher Zoony De Croes - 2012-07-17 19:31

    saders win. bulls are too inconsistent, and lost 4 games b4 beating the lowly lions. saders too strong @ home. spies ai runs sideways every game lol

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 21:59

      christopher zoony DE CROES??? is that real? that is the funniest thing i have seen all day. cant make that sh*t up

  • stompies.hattingh.5 - 2012-07-17 20:02

    Rob, you are a REAL patriot! PS: Your team the Stormers has no reputation to lose, because they have no reputation in this competition. (Oops, apart from the reputation as "chokers")

  • Craven Luyt - 2012-07-17 21:22

    Let 30 October be foremost in our minds, for on that day in the year of 1965 an Oracle was born. In the quaint English village of Haileybury in that self same year a midwife was summoned the the house of a lady whose waters had just broken. After an agonizing ten hour labour ( the infant had a disproportionally large head) a bouncing baby boy was brought into the world. Upon inspection the midwife proclaimed a miracle for the newborn had a rugby ball birthmark on one buttock and upon the other a perfect Disa. The word was quickly spread that the oracle of Western Province was born. He was named Nicholas Vivian Howard Mallet. Ladies and gentlemen this man has proclaimed ( in a studio) that the Stormers will win. Why are they even playing? Regards Craven

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-17 21:56

      all i needed to read was an "oracle was born" and i knew it was my hero (in the studio) u were talking about. with that head, came a big mouth, a lot of KFC and feet can be put in there. its truly a miracle. he is using supersport as a platform to get vengeance on the world for being given the second name of vivian. u know what i heard? every time nick mallet drinks sprite, he's not thirsty anymore.

      backstabber.adder - 2012-07-18 06:44

      Slopehead = Cravin' Attention = same dude. Spy vs Spy at primary school level.

      stompies.hattingh.5 - 2012-07-18 09:02

      backstabber, may I reccomend that you use an avatar instead of your real photo!

  • Craven Luyt - 2012-07-17 21:53

    Let 30 October be foremost in our minds, for on that self same day in 1965 an oracle was born. In the quaint English village of Haileybury a midwife was summoned to the house of a lady whose water had broken. After an agonizing and lengthy labour ( the infant had a disproportionally large head) a bouncing baby boy was born. The midwife took one look, and raised her hands to the especially bright night sky and proclaimed a miracle. For the newborn had a birthmark upon his right buttock that looked exactly like a rugby ball and adorning the left cheek was a picture perfect Disa. The word was spread than the Chosen one had been born. It was said that the stars shone far more brightly thousands of miles away in Cape Town.The child was named Nicholas Vivian Howard Mallet. Ladies and gentlemen this man has announced ( in a studio ) that the Stormers will in the year 2012 indeed be victorious. Craven

  • Craven Luyt - 2012-07-17 21:54

    Bloody hell I had to type that twice speed up News 24. Forfunksakes Craven

  • tobokani.sebele - 2012-07-18 00:36

    Bulls gameplan: physical dominance and kick for field position\r\nCrusaders gameplan: can do everything and their backs are way better than the bulls\r\nNet result:the bulls will kick away the ball to the crusaders back 3 after failing to physically dominate the crusaders pack and the crusaders back 3 will wreak havoc...crusaders by more than 25.. \r\nBTW I hope the bulls win but I'm also being realistic

      stompies.hattingh.5 - 2012-07-18 09:04

      Klink nogal soos die stormers se gameplan

  • cf.coetzee.3 - 2012-07-18 03:29

    Scrums need a huge improvement!if bulls have a good day with tactical kicks and they can slow crusaders ball down and put in huge defensive effort anything can happen!

      niel.walt - 2012-07-18 08:24

      Brilliant idea! Let dagg and freauan run at u the whole night, true genius...

  • heinrich.vanjaarsveld.52 - 2012-07-18 07:33

    Stormers shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh next to the bulls the lions is S.A next best team in the competition history even the poor lions has more super trophys than u guys I know it sucks but its the truth sharks cheetahs and stormers are still dreaming of a cup bulls got 3 and lions got 1

  • wouter.vanheerden2 - 2012-07-18 08:40

    Die saders mag dalk die game wen maar ek glo die manne van pretoria sal 'n goeie game daarvan maak om hulself die kans tegee om die game tekan wen en indien hul verloor moet hul verloor met minder as 7 punte. Kom ons hoop om 3 SA spanne in die finals te he.

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