Bulls v Sharks Super Rugby Preview

Out of the last five Super Rugby matches between the Bulls and the Sharks the Pretoria based Bulls have won three and the Sharks two.

It should be noted that in the last five Super Rugby matches between the teams the Sharks have had home advantage in three matches.

Overall the Bulls have played the Sharks 22 times in Super Rugby since 1998 and they have won 12 matches, lost 9 matches and drawn one.

This gives the Bulls an overall record of winning 55% of their matches against the Sharks. The average score when the Bulls play the Sharks is : Bulls 18 Sharks 22

This weekend the Bulls will have home advantage as the match will be played in Pretoria and where the teams have met 11 times.

In those 11 matches the Bulls have won 6 matches, lost four matches and drawn once. The average score when the Bulls play the Sharks in Pretoria is : Bulls 19 Sharks 20.

That means that the Bulls have a record of winning just 55% of their home matches against the Sharks.

In terms of selection the Bulls have dropped Piet van Zyl and handed a debut start to Rudy Paige in an otherwise unchanged team.

Marcel van der Merwe returns on the replacements bench and Jacques-Louis Potgieter drops out of the squad.

The Sharks have brought Ryan Kankowski straight into the team even though he has only just returned from Japan replacing Tera Mtembu which is the only change to the pack that beat the Lions.

In the back line Andre Esterhuizen replaces Heimar Williams, in a rotational change after two games. New Zealander Jack Wilson has been named on the replacements bench and will make his debut if he comes off the bench.

In terms of form the Sharks had a shocker in the opening round but last week they earned a rare bonus point victory in Durban which is rare in February. They were a vastly improved side compared to the opening week.

The Bulls on the other hand have been poor in both of their opening matches. They went through 2014 unbeaten at home and in 2015 they have already lost two matches. They will have to make a massive step up to stop the Sharks leaving as winners.

The Sharks have a decent record in Pretoria which is normally not a friendly place for visiting teams and this year Loftus has been a friendly place for visiting teams.

The Bookies have given the Sharks a 1 point start for this Match – with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Bulls have not shown much this year that says they will be able to beat a Sharks team that has possibly found it’s game. The Sharks should win this by three.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 1/HD.

Average score: Bulls 18 Sharks 22

Last five results
22 Mar 2014 Bulls v Sharks 23-19 Pretoria
15 Feb 2014 Bulls v Sharks 16-31 Durban
06 Jul 2013 Bulls v Sharks 20-19 Pretoria
25 May 2013 Bulls v Sharks 18-16 Durban
06 Jul 2012 Bulls v Sharks 10-32 Durban

Bulls overall record against the Sharks
Played 22 , Wins 12, Losses 9 , Draws 1

Match No.20:Bulls v Sharks
Date : Saturday 28 February 2015
Venue : Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick Off local: 17:05 local, 02:05* AEDT, 04:05* NZDT
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 1:Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 2:Ben Crouse
TMO :Johan Greeff

Teams

Bulls

Jesse Krie, Bjorn Basson , JJ Engelbrecht , Jan Serfontein, Francois Hougaard , Handre Pollard, Rudy Paige, Pierre Spies (c), Lappies Labuschagne, Deon Stegmann, Victor Matfield, Jacques du Plessis, Trevor Nyakane , Adriaan Strauss , Morne Mellett.

Replacements: Callie Visagie , Dean Greyling, Marcel van der Merwe, Grant Hattingh , Hanro Liebenberg ,Tian Schoeman , Travis Ismaiel , Jurgen Visser .

Sharks

15. SP Marais , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. Waylon Murray , 12. Andre Esterhuizen , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Cobus Reinach , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Renaldo Bothma , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 4. Lubabalo Mtyanda , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis (C) , 1. Dale Chadwick

Replacements : 16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Thomas du Toit , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Marco Wentzel , 20. Jean Deysel , 21. Conrad Hoffmann , 22. Fred Zeilinga/Lionel Cronje , 23. Jack Wilson

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