Due to the quirks of the Investec Super Rugby conference system, we haven’t faced the Bulls for almost two years.
A lot has changed since that hard-fought 23-18 victory over them at Eden Park, so we’ve cast a critical eye over the South African side’s talent pool and picked three of their players to watch out for at QBE Stadium on Saturday night.
Lood de Jager
It’s no secret that our boys in blue struggled to find a means of stopping the Crusaders’ devastating lineout drives in Christchurch last week. So it’s a fair bet that the Bulls’ own impressive pack will look to employ similar tactics in Albany.
Springbok lock Lood de Jager was arguably the Bulls’ biggest signing for 2017, in both size and stature. He’s superb in the lineout and a menace with ball in hand, so our own tight five will have to bring their A-game to stop him on Saturday night.
Fresh off a double against the Sunwolves last weekend, Jan Serfontein is another devastating player who the Blues will be looking to contain. The explosive midfielder scored a try in each half last time out, and distributed the ball well, making up for lost time following an early spell in the injury ward this season.
Serfontein will also be looking to ease the pressure on the team’s key playmaker, who happens to be the next player on our list…
Talented first five-eighth Handre Pollard (pictured above) has struggled to find his rhythm so far this season, which is understandable given he sat out the entire 2016 season following major knee surgery. He was also sorely missed by the Springboks last year, but will be looking to win national honours again later this year.
It’s likely only a matter of time before the Bulls’ captain finds his lethal form once more. Let’s hope that we can find a way to shut him down on Saturday before that happens.
Don’t miss our clash against the Bulls at QBE Stadium on Saturday 25 March. Get your tickets here.
Photo by Photosport NZ