Vodacom Super Rugby Round 13 Preview

Picture : Stuff.co.za
The Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks tackle each other in another exciting local Vodacom Super Rugby derby in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon, while the DHL Stormers will be hoping to keep their home record intact when they host the Chiefs in Cape Town.On a weekend where all four South African sides are in action yet again, the Emirates Lions will conclude their Australasian Tour with a visit to Dunedin, where they face the Highlanders in the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The matches at DHL Newlands and Loftus Versfeld will be dedicated to raising funds for the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund. At both venues, a local rugby team dressed in Players’ Fund branded t-shirts will be collecting change from spectators. They will also be promoting the use of an SMS line, which will enable the public to contribute by SMS’ing “Rugby” followed by their name to 49701, at a cost of R30/SMS (network & admin fees apply), all which will go towards the cause.

The men from Johannesburg will be without influential hooker Malcolm Marx, who was injured in last week’s defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington. Swys de Bruin will no doubt want his team to finish their four-week tour on a positive note when they clash against the Highlanders, who have returned to New Zealand from their recent visit to South Africa.

The DHL Stormers pack produced a masterclass performance in their fifth successive home victory this season against the Vodacom Bulls last Saturday. This week Siya Kolisi and his team come up against a Chiefs side that will be smarting from their surprise home defeat to the Jaguares.

The Capetonians have won nine of their 11 regular season games when hosting New Zealand opposition, while the Chiefs will hope to continue their good form in the fixture between the sides – the Kiwis have won five of the last seven meetings between the two teams.

Following last Saturday’s derby loss to the DHL Stormers, the Vodacom Bulls are no doubt eager to bounce back to winning ways in their second successive derby against a rival South African side. John Mitchell’s team welcome to Loftus Versfeld a Cell C Sharks outfit who are high on confidence after their impressive home victory over the Highlanders.

In recent years, the men from Pretoria have been dominant in this fixture against their Durban rivals. In fact, it’s been more than four years since the Cell C Sharks’ last victory over their rivals from Pretoria (D1, L5). And with the race at the top of the conferences standings heating up, neither side afford to lose ground to the two leading local conference teams, the Emirates Lions and the Jaguares.

The fifth team in the SA Conference, the Jaguares, will have a well-earned break following their recent unbeaten tour of Australia and New Zealand.