Bulls vs Stormers

The top of the table clash sees the North South rivalry continue. The Stormers looked down and out after losing their first two matches at home but they have had two excellent away wins to bring them second on the log. The Bulls suffered their first defeat in the last round and that has thrown the competition wide open. The first round match between these teams was won by the Bulls so the Stormers will be out for revenge. The Bulls rested Morne Steyn in their loss to the Lions and it shows how important he is to the Bulls. He brings experience and there is nobody better to carry out a Jake White plan than Steyn. His calm under pressure and still is the best flyhalf at controlling the game with his boot. The Stormers as usual will look to their scrum to win them penalties but I’m sure the Bulls will know what to expect. The Stormers had problems in their attack but the last two games we have seen the emergence of a superstar winger in the Cheslin Kolbe mould. He is small in stature but has a brilliant sidestep and blistering pace. His aerial skills are excellent too and the Bulls will need to watch him closely. The Bulls will have skipper Duane Vermeulen leading the pack and his battle with fellow Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit will be one of the highlights of the match. The Bulls are never flashy but very effective and they will continue the kick and chase tactic that they have perfected. The Bulls will feel if they can nullify the Stormers scrum then they will be well on the way to victory. They have become ruthless at Loftus and never seem to lose there, so the task awaiting the Stormers is massive.

TIP: This has become a must win match for the Stormers as a loss will see them drop out of the title race. The Bulls know that a bonus victory will almost guarantee them the title. In all North South derbies it’s the forwards that win the matches. I have to say that not very often to we see such well-matched forward packs. The class that the Bulls have at flyhalf in Steyn could prove to be the difference. The Bulls have used the tactic of leaving their first choice players on the bench and bringing them on in the second half when the opposition starts to tire. They definitely have the advantage on the bench and the last 20 minutes will be the time the Bulls flex their muscle and pull away to victory. The bookies have the Bulls as slight favourites and I agree with them. The best odds on the Bulls victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.50, Playabets 1.46 and Sunbet 1.45

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Bulls vs Stormers

  • The last five matches between these teams has seen the Bulls win three and the Stormers two.
  • The Bulls have won their last four home matches against the Stormers.
  • The last time the Stormers won at Loftus was in 2017.

Latest results for both teams

The Bulls lost their last match against the Lions 34-33 while the Stormers won their last game against the Sharks 25-22.

PREDICTION

The game management was missing when the Bulls played the Lions and they conceded two tries late in the game. This will not happen again so the Stormers will need to make sure that they are within striking distance when the last quarter arrives.  The Bulls will look to the form fetcher in the competition, Marco van Staden to win them penalties at the breakdown. The Bulls have a deadly rolling maul and the Stormers must be aware not to give them penalties in their own half. The Stormers will look to their Springbok scrumhalf Hershel Jantjies to spark the team as he has been unusually quiet this season. I expect the match to be tight until the last quarter when the Bulls bench comes on and they will run away with the victory. I predict a Bulls victory by more than 7 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

Bulls

15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.

Stormers

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Hershel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 David Meihuizen, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Bulls victory are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting 1.50

Playabets 1.46

Sunbet 1.45

Odds comparison on the Bulls handicap:

The complete odds on the Bulls handicap:

Worldsportsbetting (-5.5) 1.90

Sunbet (-5.5) 1.92

Playabets (-4.5) 1.80

Predictions and Odds in details

The title ambitions of both sides will be put to the test in this match and the winner will go a long way to claiming the title. The importance of the match will make it a tight affair whereby the forwards will battle it out for dominance. Thee boot of Steyn and the backline flair Madosh Tambwe and Cornal Hendricks coupled with their experience should be enough to see the Bulls home. The continued selection of Damian Willemse at fullback just amazes me as he is the spark that the Stormers are so sorely missing. He is being wasted at 15 while current flyhalf Abner van Reenen lacks experience and has poor game management. The leadership qualities in the Bulls team will makes all the difference in the tight games. There is decent money to be made on the Bulls outright victory but the value bet for me is the Bulls on the handicap. The best odds on the Bulls handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-5.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-5.5) 1.92 and Playabets (-4.5) 1.80

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