Sharks vs Bulls
The Rainbow Cup comes to an exciting end with this match being like a final with a few permutations though. In order for the Sharks to win the Cup they need to beat the Bulls with a bonus point and also deny them gaining a bonus point. This simply means the Bulls cannot score four tries or finish within seven points of the Sharks. The Sharks will be looking for revenge after the Bulls crushed them in the first round clash in Pretoria. The home team is back to full strength after resting their Springbok regulars last week while the Bulls will be without their skipper Duane Vermeulen. The home teams have had an excellent record in Durban and will be keen to keep that intact. The Bulls have gone back to their traditional style of play under Jake White. They use their big forwards and driving mauls to win games and it has been producing results. The Stormers showed in the last match that if teams can match the Bulls physicality up front then they can be beaten. They rely heavily on Morne Steyn to gain field position for them but that could be dangerous as the Sharks have Aphelele Fassi who is brilliant at counter attacking. The return of Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi to the Sharks couldn’t have gone any better as he looked full of energy and speed. They will look to him and Fassi to break through the Bulls defence. The scrum of the Sharks will again be the talking point as the two matches that they lost was due mainly to their poor scrumming. The Bulls will once again look for scrum dominance but will be without Lizo Gqoboka who is injured.
TIP: The Bulls have not been convincing in their last two matches, losing against the Lions and beating the Stormers in the final minute. They don’t seem to have that cutting edge in attack unlike the Sharks. The Sharks have a team full of attacking threats none more so than Fassi and Mapimpi while their young number 9 is an exciting talent. He was instrumental in their win over the Lions. The Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi has not really hit top form since his move to the Sharks and this will be the best opportunity to regain his form. The battle between Lukhanyo Am and Cornal Hendricks promises to be one of the highlights of the match. The bookies have the Bulls as slight favourites but I am tipping the Sharks for the victory. The best odds on the Sharks victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 2.15, Playabets 2.11 and Sunbet 2.08
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Sharks vs Bulls
- The last five matches between these sides have seen two wins apiece with one draw.
- In the last five home matches against the Bulls, the Sharks have only lost once.
- The home team has won the last seven encounters between these sides.
Latest results for both teams
The Sharks won their last match against the Lions 33-21 while the Bulls won their last match against the Stormers 31-27.
The Sharks know they face an uphill battle to try and win the Cup therefore I expect them to come out all guns blazing against the Bulls. The Bulls will no doubt sorely miss their skipper Duane Vermeulen but have an excellent replacement in Marco van Staden. The powerhouse former Sharks player Marcell Coetzee will also feature for the Bulls and made an impressive try scoring debut for the Bulls last week. Kolisi will need to be at his best to keep him quiet in this match. Curwin Bosch was overlooked for Springbok selection and will be keen to get one over the wily Morne Steyn and I feel the flyhalf who controls the game better will steer their team to victory. The greater desire from the Sharks in chasing the bonus point win will secure them victory by a margin of eight points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch , 9 Jaden Hendrickse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Sharks victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Sharks handicap:
The complete odds on the Sharks handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+1.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+1.5) 1.92
Playabets (+1.5) 1.83
Predictions and Odds in details
Revenge is a great motivating factor that’s why I think the Sharks will be the hungrier when these sides meet. The Bulls will once again use their main attacking weapon the rolling maul but I’m certain the Sharks will be working on ways to legally stop it. The Sharks will want to play an open game and not have too many set pieces as the Bulls strive on this. The pacy Sharks team must look to run the heavier Bulls pack around the field so that they can tire them out. The Bulls on the other hand will want a slow game that will suit their style of play. Curwin Bosch will need to show his attacking skills and not kick away possession otherwise Morne Steyn will dictate the pace of the game. The bookies are offering great money on the Sharks upset win but the banker bet will the Sharks on the handicap. The best odds on the Sharks handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+1.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+1.5) 1.92 and Playabets (+1.5) 1.83
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.