Bulls vs Sharks
Its finals time in the oldest rugby competition in the world. This is a repeat of last year’s final that the Bulls won in extra time. The Sharks head into the final as rank underdogs but they will draw inspiration from the 1990 Sharks team that won in Pretoria after not being given a chance by anyone. Their hopes of victory got a double boost when it was announced that the Bulls star player Johan Goosen is out of this contest after testing positive for Covid. The Sharks also have prop Thomas du Toit back after he left the Springbok camp early. The Bulls hardly ever lose at Loftus and have lost just once in 2 seasons at their fortress. It is an almost impossible job for the Sharks but they will look back at last year’s final when they held the Bulls to a draw in normal time. The biggest obstacle facing the Sharks is the power and precision of the Bulls pack. They are ruthless when they are in possession therefore the Sharks will need to have their defensive structures working at its best.
TIP: The Bulls have traditionally been strong in the forwards and have dominated teams up front. The Sharks have selected a very physical lock pairing to combat this but their loose trio is pale in comparison to the Bulls trio of Elrigh Louw, Marcell Coetzee and Arno Botha. All three have been in fantastic form and the Sharks will need Captain Phepsi Buthelezi to play the match of his life. He needs to recapture his early season form for the Sharks to have any chance of lifting the title. The Bulls will miss their talisman Goosen but they have an able replacement in Chris Smith. We can expect this match to be a tight contest as it is a final but the Bulls have the home ground advantage and therefore the bookies have them as heavy favourites. I am also tipping the Bulls for the win but I expect a close game. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.22, Playabets 1.23 and Sunbet 1.20
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Bulls vs Sharks
- In the last five matches there have been two wins apiece with one draw.
- In the last ten games between these sides the home team has only lost once.
- The last time the Sharks beat the Bulls in Pretoria was in 2019.
Latest results for both teams
The Bulls beat WP 48-31 in their last match while the Sharks beat Griquas 28-24 in their last match.
The Sharks struggled to victory in their semifinal as their backline attack had no fluency. This was mainly due to the poor passing and kicking of Sanele Nohamba. The scrumhalf will need to up his game and along with Lionel Cronje they need to find their rhythm early in the match. The Bulls had no such problems as their attack was brilliant from the first whistle. They will look to attack the Sharks at scrum time as this has been a problem area for the Sharks all season. The Bulls are masters at using their driving maul to great effect and the Sharks will need to find a way to stop it otherwise the home team will win this match convincingly. I think the match be closely fought with the Bulls winning it in the last quarter as they have the stronger bench. I predict the Bulls to win by 5 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Richard Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Chris Smith, 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 Curwin Bosch, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Bulls victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Sharks handicap :
The complete odds on the Sharks handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+11.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+11.5) 1.87
Playabets (+9.5) 1.86
Predictions and Odds in details
The Bulls have dominated the local competitions since the Covid pandemic and they are odds on favourites to retain their title but if the Sharks can be accurate and play their high tempo game then they could cause an upset. The Sharks must try and get winger Thaakir Abrahams more involved in the match as he hardly touched the ball in the semi-final. Another player that will be keen to prove his critics wrong will be Curwin Bosch as it was his poor goal kicking in last year’s final that cost the Sharks victory. The Sharks must look to pressurise Chris Smith into mistakes as he has shown the tendency to crack under pressure so players like Werner Kok must look to attack his channel. The Bulls don’t offer punters much on the outright win therefore I suggest backing the Sharks on the generous handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+11.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+11.5) 1.87 and Playabets (+9.5) 1.86
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.