The Vodacom Blue Bulls u/21 ended top of the log at the end of the league phase of the SARU u/21 competition ensuring a home semi-final and a possible home final. The Cell C Sharks just manage to secure the 4th place on the log ending with the same amount of log points as the Xerox Golden Lions but having a better points difference.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls have beaten the Cell C Sharks already twice this season. They won 31-26 in round 4 at Loftus Versveld and two weeks ago again won 44-25 at Johnsson Kings Park.
The Sharks made no changes after a great win against the Cheetahs last weekend (59-42) while the Bulls had injuries to their two centres forcing them to make changes that will affect their attacking abilities.
Sharks head coach said " “We’re very fortunate, a couple of guys are being held together by strapping, but that’s the nature of a long season,” the coach admits. “The same team, with the confidence from last week’s victory, is a positive for us.”
“We went into the Cheetahs game under pressure, knowing what was expected of us to secure a semi-final place and the players really responded nicely,” explains Vowles.
“To score over 50 points was a real confidence boost for us and I think the guys have taken a lot out of that game in terms of knowing how good they can be.”
The coach expects the challenge this weekend will be immense against the Vodacom Blue Bulls. “We know what the Bulls bring, they come with massive physicality, we expect that and it’s going to be a game won in the physical exchanges. We’ve played them three times already this year so we are well aware of what they bring and every time we’ve met, we’ve had a chance. Unfortunately, a couple of silly errors have cost us but we know that if we can cut out the mistakes and play as we have, we stand a good chance.
“We’re very excited for this match.”
Vodacom Blue Bulls U21: 15. Richard Kriel, 14. Gershwin Mouton, 13. Sango Xamlashe, 12. Wian van Niekerk, 11. Sebastiaan Jobb, 10. Theo Boshoff, 9. Keagan Johannes, 8. Muller Uys (C), 7. Hanru Sirgel, 6. Stephan Smit, 5. Ruan Nortje, 4. Ryno Pieterse, 3. Mornay Smith, 2. Werner Fourie, 1. Kudzwai Dube. Replacements: 16. Llewellyn Classen, 17. Etienne Janeke, 18. Carl Els, 19. Ewart Potgieter, 20. Johan Mulder, 21. Lionel April, 22. Dawid Kellerman, 23. Cabous Eloff.
Sharks u/21: 1. James Scott, 2. Cullen van der Merwe, 3. Hanru Jacobs, 4. JJ van der Mescht, 5. Emile van Heerden, 6. Adam Mountford, 7. Jeandre Labuschagne, 8. Evan Roos, 9. Jaden Hendrikse, 10. Rynhardt Jonker, 11. Caleb Dingaan, 12. Murray Koster, 13. Donald Falconer, 14. Asanda Kunene, 15. Thaakir Abrahams. Replacements: 16. Mark Venter, 17. Sean Barnes, 18. Cleopas Kuniana, 19. Dylan Weideman, 20. Jacques Ackerman, 21. Xavier Swartbooi, 22. Le Roux Malan, 23. Onke Jiba.