Super Rugby Unlocked’s third round culminates in the clash between the Bulls and the Sharks at Loftus.
Super Rugby Unlocked: Bulls vs Sharks, preview
The Bulls host the Sharks off the back of a narrow defeat to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last week, while the men from Durban head to Pretoria after a week two bye.
Both teams have shown signs of getting back to their best but it is clear that execution is still letting them down a little.
The Sharks lost to the Bulls at Loftus just a few short weeks ago but much has changed in their Super Rugby Unlocked camp since then and the team has a very different complexion.
Bolstered by the return to fitness of Sbu Nkosi and the loan-signing of promising former Kings winger Yaw Penxe, the Sharks boast an exciting backline and competitive forward pack.
On home soil, the Bulls will be a tough nut for any team to crack and you would expect their play to centre around set-pieces meaning the Sharks will need to keep their error-rate way down.
Because the Cheetahs match against the Lions has been called off, the Bulls and their opponents the Sharks can move to the top of the Super Rugby Unlocked table. The Bulls are four points off log leaders, the Cheetahs after claiming a losing bonus point in Bloemfontein. The Sharks, who have played just once need a full house of five points if they are to take the top spot and will also need to beat the Bulls by 21 points or more to overtake the Cheetahs on points difference.
A reminder that the Super Rugby Unlocked title will be decided by log position after seven rounds of competition. After the trophy is awarded, the teams will carry their points into the Currie Cup which will hold semi-finals and a final after a further seven rounds of rugby.
Super Rugby Unlocked: Teams
15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.
15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Werner Kok, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Dylan Richardson, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Yaw Penxe.
Bulls vs Lions, 24 October 2020: Kick-off time and where to watch
Date: Saturday, 24 October 2020
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Paul Mente
Television Match Official: AJ Jacobs
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby