Bulls vs Western Province
Its knockout time and the traditional rivals clash in this the first semifinal. The defending champion Bulls will start as favourites as the match is being played in Pretoria. WP won’t be fazed by this as they showed in their last match when they beat the Sharks away from home. The Bulls have looked lethargic in their last few games and they will need to be more focused in this match. WP has had a terrible season up until the last match and hopefully they figured out that kicking away possession is not the way to go. When they ran with the ball they looked like a team transformed. This though will not be easy against a Bulls team renowned for their defence. The Bulls will welcome back talisman flank Marcell Coetzee and he could be the stabilizing influence that they have missed in the last few weeks. WP was brilliant with their offloading game against the Shark and will look to continue with that game plan.
TIP: Both these team have strong forward packs and the battle between the number 8s stand out for me. Elrigh Louw and his opposite number Evan Roos seem destined for higher honours and they provide their teams with the platform to attack from. They will only have the opportunity to run from the back of the scrum if their scrum is solid. I fancy WP to have the slight edge in this department. The Bulls do have the overall stronger pack especially because of their formidable loose trio of Elrigh Louw, Marcell Coetzee and Arno Botha. The player that has impressed for WP is undoubtedly winger Edwill van der Merwe. He will need to be closely watched as he is deadly if given any space. The bookies have the Bulls as favourites and I’m also tipping them for the victory. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.25, Playabets 1.21 and Sunbet 1.21
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Bulls vs Western Province
- In the last five matches there have been two wins apiece with one draw.
- The home team has lost the last three matches.
- The last time the Bulls beat WP in Pretoria was in 2016.
Latest results for both teams
The Bulls beat the Cheetahs 39-36 in their last match while WP beat the Sharks 35-24.
These teams both love to use their driving mauls to score tries therefore the team that executes better will win this match. The number 10s on both sides have been key factors for these teams reaching the knockout stage. They have played all over the world and this experience shows as they are excellent at managing games. They are also great goal kickers so discipline needs to be good otherwise these guys will punish the opposition. The battle on the wings could be very important and the Bulls still persist with Stravino Jacobs and he has been a liability to his team with his defensive errors. Ruhan Nel will be licking his lips at the opportunity to run at Jacobs. All this said I expect the Bulls to keep the ball amongst the forwards and they will have too much firepower for the Province team. I predict the Bulls to win by more than 10 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Richard Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Arno Botha (Captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Janko Swanepoel, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Johan du Toit, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Leon Lyons
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Bulls victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Bulls handicap victory :
The complete odds on the Bulls handicap victory:
Worldsportsbetting (-10.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-10.5) 1.87
Playabets (-10.5) 1.89
Predictions and Odds in details
WP played their best match of the season to get into the semis while the Bulls were in cruise control in their last match so I expect the home side to come out firing in this match. They have the experience of knockout rugby having won many titles in the last couple of seasons. The WP team is less experience and this will count against them therefore they will need players like Swiel and Nel to guide the team around the park. The match could be close but in the final quarter the Bulls will run away to a comfortable victory. They have the much stronger bench and the altitude could have a negative impact on the Province players. The Bulls offer poor returns for punters on the outright win therefore I suggest the home side on the handicap victory. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-10.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-10.5) 1.87 and Playabets (-10.5) 1.89
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.