Super Rugby 2017: Sharks vs Bulls Preview

Sharks Versus Bulls Super Rugby Betting Preview

Super Rugby returns to South African shores this Friday as the Sharks welcome the Bulls to Growthpoint Kings Park. 

With the Springboks and South Africa “A” having concluded their respective June fixtures against France and the French Barbarians, attention now turns back to the remaining two round-robin Super Rugby fixtures of the season.

With the Australian and Kiwi contingent absent this week, the pick of the round sees the Sharks host the Bulls at the Growthpoint Kings Park Stadium in what is sure to be a feisty encounter in Durban.

Sharks vs Bulls | Friday 30 June | Growthpoint Kings Park | 19:00

To Win Match (80 Mins)
Sharks 1/5 | Draw 25/1 | Bulls 21/10
Sharks (-10.5) 9/10 | Bulls (+10.5) 9/10

The Sharks’ slim hopes of securing a South African-based quarter-final all rest on the outcome of their next two Super Rugby encounters, as well as the Crusaders’ result next week. The Natalians need to harvest maximum log points (five) from their next two encounters as well as pray that the Crusaders come unstuck against the Hurricanes if they are to stand any chance of staying put in South Africa for an extra week. As it stands, it would seem that the Durbanites are destined to travel to Christchurch for a playoff, but you simply never know with this sport.

Rob du Preez has been forced to make a few personnel changes after the June Test window. Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and Jean-Luc du Preez earn well-deserved rests this week after turning out for the Boks against France, while SA “A” winger Lwazi Mvovo, also gets the weekend off. Curwin Bosch returns to the side at fullback and Garth April at number ten (since Pat Lambie will play no further part in the season). Phillip van der Walt assumes the captaincy and will lead the charge from the side of the scrum.

The Sharks should be too good for a rather shambolic Bulls outfit on Friday. Their forwards led by the irrepressible Coenie Oosthuizen, should bully the Bulls bruisers and lay the platform for a dangerous backline to get the job done.

The Bulls have just pride to play for in their remaining fixtures after what has been an absolute horror-show of a season. A measly three wins from 12-games tells the story of a side that has struggled throughout 2017, and that has battled to assert itself under a coach (Nollis Marais) completely out of his depth.

The appointment of John Mitchell as director of rugby a couple of months ago may prove a masterstroke in the long run, and indeed the Kiwi has plenty to ponder as he attempts to rise SA’s most successful franchise from the ashes.

Despite their poignant showing in the competition to date, the fact that the Bulls can no longer qualify for the playoffs may work in their favour this weekend. They will play without fear of failure and with the likes of the in-form Springbok centre pairing Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel in their ranks, they certainly have a chance of upsetting the applecart.

Verdict: Sharks (-10.5) 9/10
The Sharks want this one more and a gameplan focused on a solid set-piece and defence should see them one-up a Bulls team that has looked aimless at times this season. Sharks by 8-plus.

Written by Shaun Goosen for!

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