'Beware Bulls onslaught'

2011-05-17 22:00

Christo Buchner

Johannesburg - His aim is to haul in the Stormers, but in the same breath Sharks coach John Plumtree will also be glancing over his shoulder at the resurging Bulls.

"This phase of Super Rugby is very intense. The race is wide open and few of the teams are completely out of the picture," said Plumtree.

"Everybody now knows where they stand and what needs to be done in the last five weeks to make the play-offs. For us, especially, it won't be easy. Our last three games against the Cheetahs, Lions and Bulls are away from home.

"We want to keep the pressure on the Stormers and that's why it's important to beat the Bulls on Saturday. The Bulls are a quality team and know how to react when the pressure is on.

"The pressure is definitely on them now because they know that they need to win virtually every game from here onwards. That is why we expect a massive onslaught from them.

"It's difficult to judge their performance against the Rebels because the Rebels were so poor. Even so, the Bulls have clearly regained their confidence and that makes them dangerous."

The Sharks, with 43 points, are one log point behind the Stormers (44) and seven ahead of the Bulls (36).

"It's not an easy tournament by any means. It's physical and demanding, but wonderful for precisely that reason," said Plumtree.

"You are subjected to a major test at every level every week. The longer it continues the tougher it becomes and every team's depth will be severely tested in the last month."

Two Sharks forwards - John Smit and Jacques Botes - will undergo fitness tests on Thursday before being considered for the game against the Bulls at Kings Park.

Plumtree said that under-20 eighthman Marcell Coetzee was still part of the set-up and should be part of the 22-man squad.

If Botes is not declared fit, Coetzee may be in the starting line-up.


  • shawnappel - 2011-05-17 22:13

    GOOOOO SHARKS! just dont bust out another game like the stormers game!

  • Crusader Man - 2011-05-17 22:43

    Picking the Bulls to win this. Sharks somehow seem to disapoint in the big games. Bulls will close the gap right up. If they get 5 points and Sharks 0 and Stormers lose (which i am picking) will really close your Conference up... Which makes it really exciting when there are still 2 huge games left.. Rematch with these 2 teams and Bulls/Sharks game... Am impartial so i really hope its a great game for you guys.. LET THE BATTLE BEGIN... Shame its on so late in NZ ..

      PJ - 2011-05-18 01:48

      Try MYSKY little man!

      BardofAvon - 2011-05-18 08:16

      Solid comment CM, but 5 points is a bit of a stretch. We (the Bulls) will be lucky to come away with 4. But yes, the Bulls know how to win games they can't afford to lose. And this is one of them.

      Crusader Man - 2011-05-18 09:08

      @PJ dont have My Sky .. but do have Telstra T Box.. Quite happy just watching the highlights tho...

      Wessel - 2011-05-18 12:18

      @Crusader Man yes i will like the 5 points on the Bulls side but the sharks is this year the better team.Like always the South Africa teams will try to take each another out.I am a verry bigg Bull seporter but i think the Sharks going to win.If not then they were outplay by the forwords

  • Legend - 2011-05-17 22:55

    The Super rugby cup is not won in April... Bulls will still come out on TOP and the rest will stand amazed and with tears in their eyes. Bulls remain the best and will perform when they need too. Bulle Bulle Bulle Bulle Bulle Bulle Bulle Bulle Bulle Bulle!!!!! Even my unborn baby screams for the Bulls.

      jontheb - 2011-05-18 07:08

      The Stormers smacked you once and we'll smack you again. Personally, I hope the Bulls do indeed beat the Sharks, while the Stormers thump the Blues and open a good six point gap for the Stormers!!! Stormers have beaten every team in SA - Stormers are the only team with the right to claim the top of the SA conference. Sharks really don't deserve it as we've smashed them twice and made themselves our bitches!

      BardofAvon - 2011-05-18 08:19

      @jontheb: What you say is true, statistically, but the Stormers choked against the Crusaders (at home). It's the big games that count, bro.

  • Kleinboet - 2011-05-18 00:37

    This weekend could really be informative. My team (Stormers) is playing a VERY good tream and has a 50/50 chance of winning. I believe Sharks will win; but the Bulls may cause an upset depending on which team arrives at the venue. If the Sharks win the Stormers has a problem. If the Bulls win everybody have a problem. However, if the Stormers is not good enough to see it through to the end; then they do not deserve to be in the top group. Afterall, if you want to win the trophy you must beat all comers. A very open situation to say the least.

      ARRA - 2011-05-18 07:27

      yes thats what I call a good comment-not biast or arrogant -just realistic,like the part where you say(if the Bulls win everybody have a problem)

  • PJ - 2011-05-18 01:48

    Easy game for the Sharks against the brandy crowd...Sharks by 10

      BardofAvon - 2011-05-18 08:23

      PJ it's folk like you that spoil this forum. My dad is stronger than your dad! My dad is stronger than your dad! Any adult rugby fan knows that however this game plays out it is not going to be easy for the Victor.

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-18 15:43

      @PJ - Dope bruuu. Did you, like just come up with all this while you were curzing the surf dude?

  • Rob Rabbit - 2011-05-18 10:03

    Sharks will be too good - Bulls had one good half against a woefull Rebels and then lost the second stanza in real terms. Stormers will loose so Bulls will still have an outside chance going forward if they can pick up two bonus points.

      rugby_guru - 2011-05-18 20:39

      Not to be funny but this could be one of the sharks hardest matches. How i wish hougaard could come play for the sharks.. he is brilliant, and provably the best no 9 in the country, i hope the bulls don't do what we did to ruaan pienaar and let him play where the bike need him this year as our Scrum half

  • Grunk - 2011-05-18 10:15

    I think we will find that the Sharks, particularly if Smit doesn't play, will control the rucks and tight loose - but can they do anything with the ball? That backline, and particularly its service from the base of the scrum, appears to me to be sub-standard.

      BOKLDN - 2011-05-18 11:04

      Not sure its the whole backline. It is more the centres. If Adi plays, there is much more direction. He is a much better player the others.

      Grunk - 2011-05-18 12:14

      I actually agree with you on Adi and probably should omit JPas well from my comment. However contra to this, while Adi is superb on attack, I have doubts on his defense particularly against a big centre such as Olivier and JP tends not to get involved as much as he should.

  • rugby_guru - 2011-05-18 10:56

    Never write off the bulls.. i know this game is going to be big. They seem to turn on the gas when need be. I think we have the upper hand at home, but loftus will be intense

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-18 13:41

      Guru - I want to comment on this post, because it deserves a reply. I agree that the contest will be intense, and yes, the Sharks have a home advantage. I think that the team that comes out on top this weekend will also do so at Loftus.

      rugby_guru - 2011-05-18 16:29

      One Guy i wish the sharks could get is mullet boi from the bulls, dam i rate that guy

  • Bokstar - 2011-05-18 16:10

    The Bulls are busy building momentum and nothing will stop them to play in the final to defend their title. Any bets?

      Semperfi - 2011-05-18 16:21

      I can thin of three people this weekend that may be more than your "Bulls" can handle....1) Alberts and 2) Deysel and lastly 3) Bizzie Spies v Alberts = HUGE advantage to Alberts Stegs v Deysel = LOL laughable another advantage to Deysel Chillwilli v Bizzie = better call child protective services lol....Bizzie all the way Your only slight advantage is the mid field but again i say slight. Basson v Mvovo = Mvovo is way to fast and strong for Bjorg Bjorn Hougie v JP = besides jumping high he wont be able to stop big JP

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-19 17:49

      @Semperfi - are you ready to eat your words?? I thought this is how you boys approached the Stormers game, and I am expecting the same result.

  • - 2011-05-19 08:22

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