The final round of Super Rugby Unlocked gets underway in Pretoria on Saturday when the Bulls host the Pumas and the home side already look set to clinch the title.
Note revised date and kick off time
Bulls v Pumas, Saturday 21st November, Pretoria, KO 14:00 (South African time)
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant Refs: Rasta Rasivhenge, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO : Marius van der Westhuizen
Weather Forecast – Pretoria
The Bulls were on a bye last week but they still finished the round with a 2 point lead at the top of the log and assuming with the Sharks v Stormers game called off, it looks likely that the Bulls will be crowned champions of Super Rugby Unlocked.
The Bulls have a record of 4 wins and 1 defeat and they also boast by far the best points difference in the tournament. The most recent victory came away to the Lions in Round 5 when they overturned a 15-10 half time deficit to run out winners 30-25.
Two earlier home games against the Stormers (won 39-6) and the Sharks ( won 41-14) saw the Bulls tournament spring into life after they failed to impress in their first 2 matches. The Bulls had started with a come from behind 30-23 home win over the Griquas whilst their only defeat came a week later, 19-17 to the Cheetahs in Bloem where they missed a late conversion attempt that would have levelled the scores
Bulls Fixtures and Results
R1 Griquas (h) won 30-23, R2 Cheetahs (a) lost 19-17, R3 Sharks (h) won 41-14, R4 Stormers (h) won 39-6, R5 Lions (a) won 30-25, R6 bye, R7 Pumas (h).
The Pumas were due to visit the Lions last weekend but the game was postponed late on due to a Covid outbreak.
From their 4 completed matches the Pumas have won 1 and lost 3.
In Round 4 they suffered a 42-19 home defeat to the Sharks but a week earlier they gave the Stormers a huge scare in another home game, leading 30-14 at half time before a late surge saw the Stormers get up 42-37 at the death.
The Pumas only win so far came in a Round 2 visit to the Griquas in Kimberley where they came out on top 27-21. The Pumas started the tournament away to the Cheetahs, a game they lost 53-31.
Pumas Fixtures and Results
R1 Cheetahs (a) lost 53-31, R2 Griquas (a) won 27-21, R3 Stormers (h) lost 37-42, R4 Sharks (h) lost 42-19, R5 bye, R6 Lions (a) postponed, R7 Bulls (a).
Bulls: 15. David Kriel, 14. Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Theo Boshoff, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Willem Engelbrecht, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Darrien Landsburg, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 HP van Schoor, 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Ig Prinsloo, 18 Brandon Valentyn, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Ginter Smuts, 21 Ali Mgijima, 22 Tapiwa Mafura, 22 Liam Hendricks
Recent Head to Head
2019 Pumas 17-25 Blue Bulls
2018 Blue Bulls 39-29 Pumas
2017 Blue Bulls 52-32 Pumas
2017 Pumas 51-15 Blue Bulls
2016 Pumas 14-41 Blue Bulls
2015 Pumas 24-25 Blue Bulls
2014 Pumas 6-37 Blue Bulls
Bulls -28.5 points at 9/10
Pumas +30.5 points at 9/10
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
There has been some support for the Pumas at +31.5 and you can now get -28.5 Bulls at Hollywoodbets
These big handicaps are often tricky and I can see the Bulls pulling clear only to step off the gas and allow the Pumas in for a few scores late on (similar to Cheetahs v Pumas in week 1)
I can't look past a dominant Bulls win though and the bet I am going for is the -10.5 half time handicap at Sunbet - they were the only book priced up that I could find and I must say I was surprised to be getting -10.5 at 8/10 and would suggest this is going to move out to around -13.5.
I will look at the points markets on Saturday and will post any further bets in the rugby forum thread
Bet: 6 units Bulls -10.5 HT handicap at 8/10 at Sunbet
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