Bulls key to SA conference

2011-05-10 11:18

Brenden Nel - SuperSport

Johannesburg - With the Stormers stumbling and the Sharks looking to pounce, the Bulls could hold the wild card to a nail-biting finish to the South African conference in this year’s Super Rugby competition.

The Sharks will be eyeing their chances after the Stormers loss to the Crusaders this past weekend, moving to within four points of the Cape side, but neither of the two South African front runners have easy run-ins to the end of the competition.

The prize of winning the South African leg of the conference ups the stakes significantly, as it gives a home ground advantage that is worth its weight in gold as the competition runs down.

The effects of the longer competition are already becoming more and more apparent as the weeks roll bye. Injuries, fatigue and strategy are playing a massive role in the way teams will approach this unknown part of the season, with getting it right in the final part of the season even more important than early form.

This, it seems, is where the defending champions hold the key to the conference. With two massive derbies ahead against the Sharks they can literally make or break the coastal team’s chances, while a final trip to Newlands to face their arch-enemies will also play a massive role in the Stormers chances of taking the conference.

Apart from that, the introduction of the wild card playoffs means that jockeying for positions will play an important part to miss say, a visit to Brisbane or Christchurch for a playoff against the the top teams in one of the other conferences.

The best case scenario for one of the chasing teams is that, if they don’t manage to win the conference, they end up in a position where the playoff is in South Africa, therefore negating the home ground advantage somewhat.

The Stormers have a tough tour, but whether or not they self-destruct lies solely in their own hands as they face two potentially tricky games against the Chiefs and Blues in their New Zealand leg.

Following that, the matches against the Brumbies and Rebels should be targeted for points as both sides have not been up to the standard in this year’s competition. After that, a potentially tricky match against the Cheetahs awaits in Bloemfontein, and Naka Drotske’s men would love nothing more than to upset reputations and title aspirations.

The games between the Sharks and Bulls next week certainly could shape the South African conference, and even do the Stormers a favour, if the Bulls are able to continue their home run momentum they have had in the past few years.

While in the past the Bulls have been the pace setters, they are now an ominous shaping factor in the competition, and while they have been written off so many times before, they will relish the power to control their own destiny.

All of this of course depends on whether they give themselves a chance this weekend against the Rebels. A slip-up, another shock loss and the focus may shift from competition points to the World Cup.

The Bulls know they are in the last-chance saloon, to coin a cliché and how many times haven’t we seen that a Bulls team with their backs against the wall is a dangerous one.

But questions still abound whether or not they still have the firepower, the physical aspect and the game plan to beat their more fancied South African rival franchises.

The Bulls have other tricky games to negotiate - the Cheetahs and Waratahs are all on their way to Pretoria, but it is certain their clashes against the Stormers and Sharks will determine the face of the South African representatives for the playoffs.

It’s been a long time since the Bulls were underdogs, similarly so for the Sharks and Stormers wearing the favourites tag.

Either way, forget the excitement thus far in the competition, by all accounts, the drama has only just begun.


  • CliffBradley - 2011-05-10 11:20

    No Chance In Hell , It Will Freeze Over First !!!

      Dal2000 - 2011-05-10 11:24

      Just like on Saturday night? When the Stormers couldn't beat a B-grade, going onto C-grade team?

      Andre - 2011-05-10 11:28

      @Dal2000. Still did better than the Bulls did against their B-grade team. HAHA!!! Bulls will never beat the Sharks this season.

      Marx - 2011-05-10 11:46

      Well Cliffie, from the Saloon: the Snow, she's a come'n !

      ZCV - 2011-05-10 12:01

      @Andre, a loss is a loss. Even if the scoreline for the Stomers looked better. Stormers still lost and that with home ground advantage. So HAHA!!! Yourself old chap.

      Marcell - 2011-05-10 12:32

      Never say never. Julle vergeet te vinnig daar in Slaapstad.

      Ghecko - 2011-05-10 12:51

      now now please remember what Brenden Nell states the Bulls are the key its a pity they cant find the door so you are spot on Cliff No Chance in hell

      Deon - 2011-05-10 14:08

      CLIFFIE NO ONE GAVE THE BLUE BULLS TEAM A CHANCE IN THE VODACOM CUP AS WELL AND WHAT HAPPENED????????????? The Blue Bulls are playing in a final. Never say never

      CliffBradley - 2011-05-11 20:42

      @Andre Hel, jy's afgryslik lelik man! Wat de hel gaan aan met jou are?? Ek sal my morsdood skaam om so 'n foto op internet te sit, jy lyk soos 'n donnerse gay perrevlieg man

  • WPBEFONK - 2011-05-10 11:25

    No WAYS, hulle is OOR die MUUR.. Bye, Bye, Bulls. Let's rather WELCOME the possibility of crowning a NEW SUPER champion from SA, namely the MIGHTY STORMERS of CAPE TOWN.....

      Chris - 2011-05-10 11:38

      Pasop, as jy wakker skrik is jou bier flat!

      Hybrid - 2011-05-10 11:42

      Don't be surprised if the Bulls spoil the Stormers and Sharks party

      lime - 2011-05-10 11:45

      Stem saam met WPBEFONK, daar is die possibility. Stormers moet net 'n goeie toer het.

      JBBJ - 2011-05-10 11:58


      Marcell - 2011-05-10 12:33

      Die strompies is baas as dit by vou kom.

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-10 18:08

      JBBJ, hulle het klaar gevou

  • JR - 2011-05-10 11:46

    Hahahah nou kots die strompies alweer. Ons het dit in 2007 gedoen en daarna die Sharkies gaan wen in 83min onthou julle nog?

      Marx - 2011-05-10 11:51

      JR, Sal jy ooit John Smit se gesigs-uitdrukking vergeet?? Die eier was getel en al in die mandjie, en toe's hy vrot!! Die Stormpies het al klomp eiertjies in die mandjie......

      JBBJ - 2011-05-10 12:14


      Marcell - 2011-05-10 12:34

      Kyk, een ding wat jy van 'n Shark ondersteuner kan se. Hy weet hou om 'n sjampanje prop terug te druk!

  • andre - 2011-05-10 11:51

    Never say never the Bulls like to come from behind and beat their rivals. Remember what happened in 2008 in Durban the Sharks had it wrapped up only to die in the dying moments of the game. Go Bulls it is there for the taking.

  • JBBJ - 2011-05-10 11:55


  • pop101 - 2011-05-10 11:57

    Die Bulls is die sleutel tot 'n oop kakhuis in die Vrystaat..

      Danie - 2011-05-10 12:19

      Ja agree 110%

      JBBJ - 2011-05-10 12:21

      IDIOOT !!!!!!!!!!!!

      pop101 - 2011-05-10 13:22

      Ek's nie 'n idioom nie, jou mormoon.

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-10 14:13

      pop101 - nee, jy is n idioot. Is dit al wat jy kon bylas? Mooi man.

      pop101 - 2011-05-10 14:24

      GreamBB - nee, jy is n idioot. Is dit al wat jy kon bylas? Mooi man.

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-10 15:34

      pop101 - jammer, ek trek my stelling terug. Jy is brilliant! Soveel insig, soveel die vak van kakhuise.

      Harry Struwig - 2011-05-10 18:26

      Swak aanmerking, maar se my weet jy hoekom n hondedrol langwerpig is en n skaapdrol rong?

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-11 10:57

      @Harry - who are you talking 2?

  • harold.uberstein - 2011-05-10 12:21

    joke of the week so far. Every once in a while the bulls win a game against one of the weekest teams, they are champions again. Get this they are a lot of hasbeens get it.

      Marcell - 2011-05-10 12:37

      Dis beter om die laaste wedstryd van 'n kompetisie te wen as die eerste een.

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-10 14:17

      Ja Harold - jy lyk soos n hasbeen, if ever you were. Kyk VodaCup - ons was no 8, en nou in die finaal. Ek sou nie eens die Cheetahs afskryf nie, die wedloop is ver van verby. Gaan maak maar die sakkie wat teen jou been vas gemaak is leeg, daar kom nog baie drama!

  • Danie - 2011-05-10 12:21

    Go Rebels, Sharks,Cheetahs,Waratahs,Stormers and Sharks again..

  • Philly123 - 2011-05-10 12:23

    HAHAHAHA Die bulle se moer.......... Sharks gaan hulle pak gee op Loftus en in Durban.... Bulle oppad terug in die 7 maer jare in...

      JuanT - 2011-05-10 12:51

      ek sal nie so vinnig praat as ek jy is nie. jy mag dalk met n gesig uitloop wat lyk soos die kleur van die vodacom logo

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-10 14:19

      @Philly - time will tell. You boys were big mouth against the Stormers, and look how pathetic, PATHETIC you guys were. Bulls will definately see the Sharks as an opportunity!

  • Danie - 2011-05-10 12:23

    Stormers only need to win 3 of their remaining games to end up higher than the Sotte on the log

      Marcell - 2011-05-10 12:55

      Only is the key.

  • Mike@CapeT - 2011-05-10 12:25

    'The Stormers stumbling'!!!!!!!!! They have lost 2 games this season and the only reason they are not at the top of the log is because they have not been picking up bonus points....that is the biggest worry!

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-10 12:35

    I am just sooooooooo chuffed the circus is back in town this weekend: The Bearded Lady - Wyand. 'The Strongman - Pierre', The obese little dwarfs - the fans. The fire-eater - Wynie. The acrobat/pole dancer-Jaco etc etc - They should just throw a tent over Loftus and put up the Boswell Wilkie sign.

      The_Fox - 2011-05-10 12:42

      And organise drugs and strippers for the "party" afterwards.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-10 12:52

      And then go on a Mighty Men conference to ask forgiveness for all the strippers and drugs...."the devil made me do it".

      Raka13 - 2011-05-10 12:59

      HA HA HA, don't forget Crusty the clown Kirchner and Bakkies the Bully Wrestler

      thumper - 2011-05-10 13:05

      This circus thing is brilliant...hahaha. The only thing missing for the Bulls circus is their ringmaster - Craig Joubert.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-10 13:13

      @ watalife -

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-10 13:16

      Jaco Pretorious as chief ticket taker? He is a revolving door in it could work pretty well. TICKETS PLEASE, as the baby orcs run straight through him on their way to the hot dog stand?

      thumper - 2011-05-10 13:18

      So what's your point JuanT?

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-10 14:42

      Yup - here are the usual suspects with strings of insults - mostly the same clowns that said they will show us how to wack the Saders - hahahaha. Where were your usual windgat chirps after the weekend?? So, who are the clowns - the big mouths on this site perhaps? And write off the Bulls, I prefer it that way. Shine your trophy boys - wax on, wax off.

      Balsakhater - 2011-05-10 15:08

      Sif-cat - You missed one thing - Our FULL Trophy Case. You must invite DR. Phil to help all you Losers. Pathetic

      watalife - 2011-05-10 15:33

      @SAFFA-CAT, thanks for that... Check email signature....Pest....

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-10 18:03

      ja ou sifkat. daai "toep toep" geluid wat jy hoor wanneer die bulls speel is nie jou papsak wat lek nie, dis jou vrou wat drup soos n' stukkende koshuis geezer wanneer say vir Spies en Wynand op die TV sien.

      Carl Muller - 2011-05-11 08:25

      At least they have the Cups in the cupboard, you only have a big mouth and nothing else...

  • Raka13 - 2011-05-10 12:36

    Key to the back door of the conference.

  • Fiftybucks - 2011-05-10 12:57

    Uh one correction "The games between the Sharks and Bulls next week certainly could shape the South African conference, and even do the Stormers a favour, if the Bulls are able to continue their home run momentum they have had in the past few years." They are playing at Kings Park so this is no home game for them, SHARKS!

  • MrMojoRising - 2011-05-10 12:58

    While we're so optimistic, there is still a chance for the Cheetahs to make it as well . . . but realistic now, it's up to the Stormers and the Sharks to take it for South Africa.

      Deon - 2011-05-10 14:17

      Boet you know the Cheetahs will be the team that might just upset the SA conference because they are playing bettter rugby every weekend. It is too late for them but they are going to put a spanner in the works for the Bulls, Strontjies en Sharks.

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-10 14:23

      @Mojo - lets be realistic: It aint over till its over. Sharks cant sit back, can they? They now need to seal the deal. That is being realistic.

  • GHT - 2011-05-10 13:00

    That nr6 playoff spot is still up for grabs and I believe both the Bulls or Cheetahs still stand a chance taking it! Just imagine what 3 teams in the playoffs will do to SA's morale (assuming the Stormers and Sharks continue with their form and end in the top 6). The Lions must just come to the party and prevent the Highlanders, Waratahs and Hurricanes (teams aiming at that nr6 spot) from getting any points against them in the coming weeks!

      kosie - 2011-05-11 09:11

      probably the best comment on this post so far.

  • cmarais2 - 2011-05-10 13:24

    GHT, That is even more rediculous than the Bulls making the playoffs. The Lions can't by a victory in Super 15. I Hope this is the last year they play in the comp....they are an embarrassment to SA rugby.

  • CapeTownJunk - 2011-05-10 13:26

    "To coin a cliché". What an ugly phrase. Brenden Nel, seriously? You've used just about every cliché in the book for this article, so it's no surprise that you're able to coin your own.

  • Tired - 2011-05-10 13:30

    Bulls=majority of world cup team=problems for SA

      Luckybugger - 2011-05-10 14:12

      Wrong, Snor = serious problems for SA rugby, back to the super rugby it is not how you depart but how you arrive, Stomers & Sharks still have to win a super trophy, time will tell if they have BMT, good luck to them it would be nice if they can keep the silverware in SA

  • Niceb - 2011-05-10 16:03

    Wonder hoekom is Lloyd en Zollazap nie hier nie. Hulle weet seker die bulle het geen kans nie.

      watalife - 2011-05-10 16:10

      Hulle geld is klaar vir die maand

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-10 17:58

      nee, hulle hoef nie meer julle stormer supporters te terg nie, julle span is nou die joke van die jaar

  • Stormer.4.Life - 2011-05-10 16:14

    LOL....don't put your hopes on the bulls.....

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-10 16:41

      LOL - dont put your money on Stormers aftert this weekend. We can support the teams though, what do you think??

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-10 17:57

      at least i made about R2000 on the stormer's game last weekend.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-05-10 18:29

      @ Jan, has that made up for what you lost on their previous games?

      watalife - 2011-05-10 19:09

      @Mike@CapeT... No he has just made hid monthly salary.hehehe... bulls...suck

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-10 19:22

      try it okes, you can make a killing from the stormer's d illusions of grandeur every year!!

  • jan du preeaz - 2011-05-10 20:05

    dit lyk my al die stormers ouens het gaan slaap, Cmax is maar vol spanning na laas saterdag

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  • Northern Stormer - 2011-05-11 06:03

    Al die sitplekke is nog oop !!! Moenie iemand afskryf nie - julle sal dit berou en om verskoning te vra later is selfs erger as om die ander spanne se supporters te beledig - Beware !!!

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-11 11:06

      Agreed - even the Cheetahs are still in with a shout. This year is very interesting.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-05-11 08:24

    Die kinders wat kack hieronder skryf onthou nie al die kere wat die Bulle teruggekom het en dan bekers gevat het nie. Ons sal maar wag en kyk of hulle dit die keer weer sal doen. Bulls forever.

      CapeBuffalo - 2011-05-11 12:39

      En jy kan nie eers n simpel woord soos kak reg spel nie, so wat weet jy van rugby af........

      GraemeBB - 2011-05-11 17:31

      @Buffalo - kan Duanne kak spel?

  • BardofAvon - 2011-05-11 17:21

    BMT = Bulls Match Temperament

  • CliffBradley - 2011-05-11 19:58

    Jis jis al jul breindood onnosel klomp pikstele! Julle het gedink ek het in 'n totale introvert verander ne!! Ek het maar net vir 5dae aaneen gelag vir hoe pateties die Stormers is!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. The jokers of world rugby living up to their reputation again! Ek het altyd gedog 'n Bulls wen is die "ultimate," maar ek moet se ek dink 'n Stormers verloor is absoluut orgamies lekker!! Kry vir julle!!!

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