Photo Credit:Vodacom Bulls.
The Vodacom Bulls produced a clinical and composed performance to claim a 41-14 bonus-point victory over the Sharks at Loftus Versveld.
Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White has made a few changes to his team for this clash after their narrow defeat against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.
Upfront, Van der Merwe and Elrigh Louw take over from Trevor Nyakane and Arno Botha respectively, while White also made a number of changes to the Vodacom Bulls’ backline, adding some pace and excitement to their back division.
As it was, Gans and Van Staden both bagged their second tries as the Bulls powered into a commanding 31-14 lead heading into the final quarter, with the home team’s physicality on defence adding to the pressure that was building on the Sharks.
Late in the game, rain, thunder and lightning arrived in Pretoria, with any hopes of a Sharks comeback emphatically doused as the Bulls rumbled to a fully-deserved victory with two more tries at the death.
Bulls – Tries: Stedman Gans (2), Marco van Staden (2), Marco Jansen van Vuren, Embrose Papier. Conversions: Morne Steyn (4). Penalty: Steyn.
Sharks – Try: Dylan Richardson. Penalties: Curwin Bosch (3).
Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (c), 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.
Subs: 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.
Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Werner Kok, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Phendulani Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Dylan Richardson, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 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.