Tue 26 Jan 2021 | 01:55

Bulls wary of Sharks' 'exciting' backline

Bulls assistant coach Chris Rossouw and scrumhalf Ivan Van Zyl - pre-match Currie Cup Final
Tue 26 Jan 2021 | 01:55
Bulls wary of Sharks' 'exciting' backline
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Bulls assistant coach Chris Rossouw has been keeping a close eye on the Sharks and admits they are ‘an exciting group’.

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The Bulls and Sharks face each other in the Currie Cup final at Loftus Versfeld on January 30.

The Bulls booked their final spot with a 26-21 win over ill-disciplined Lions side, while Sharks got the better of the more-favourable Western Province at Newlands.

The Bulls, under Jake White, have been dominating the domestic season since the return from the Covid-19 enforced break.

Courtesy of their formidable pack – guided by captain Duane Vermeulen and the solid boot of veteran Morne Steyn – they secured the Super Rugby Unlocked trophy and they have a chance to secure a double on Saturday.

The Bulls’ powerful forward dominance and tactical kicks have received raving reviews, but the surprising factor was the performance of the backline.

Ivan van Zyl and Cornal Hendricks along with youngsters  Kurtley Arendse and David Kriel have managed to produce a couple of noteworthy displays, and they were especially impressive against the Lions.

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The side will have to produce yet another formidable display against the Sharks, said Rossouw, who knows all too well how the Durbanites’ backline could be the difference between a win or a defeat.

“The Sharks were the most consistent team,” Rossouw said.

“They played really well during the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup and a big part of that was due to their backline.

“They have a good mix of experience and youngsters, with a very good academy that feeds that system. They are certainly an exciting group to watch.

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“So for us, we will have to field a backline that can play expansively but also very good defensively.”

When asked about the defence, Rossouw had nothing but praise for his colleague and defence coach Joey Mongala.

“Mongala has been doing great work,” Rossouw said.

“I think the likes of Ivan [Van Zyl], Morne [Steyn]  and Cornal [Hendricks]  along with the young guys have grown tremendously and we are very pleased with what they achieve every week.

“They delivered a very good performance against Lions and this weekend we will be tested again”

Saturday’s match marks the fifth Currie Cup final between these teams.

Their previous encounters in the grand finale of SA’s flagship domestic competition were in 2008, 2003, 1990 and 1956 respectively.

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Bulls wary of Sharks' 'exciting' backline | Rugby365