|Bulls v Sunwolves: Sunday 1.05am (AEST)
at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
|Best Bet: Bulls -29.5 ($1.90)
Value Bet: Bulls by 31-35 ($7.50)
The Sunwolves are set to be cannon fodder for a Bulls side who need a victory to hang onto their tenuous finals hopes heading into the final round.
Roelof Smit and Lizo Gqoboka have been ruled out of the Bulls side with injury, but captain Adriaan Strauss returns after being rested last week. Yu Tumara is currently filling in for veteran Sunwolves No.10 Tusi Pisi.
The Bulls edged the Sunwolves out 30-27 in Singapore earlier this season.
The Bulls are fourth overall in the South African Group, three points adrift of the wildcard spot. After a crucial Round 13 win over the Stormers, they crashed to a 56-20 loss to the Lions before the Test rugby break and a 29-11 away loss to the Jaguares last week. The Bulls are ranked 12th in attack and 10th in defence.
The Sunwolves’ stunning home draw against the Stormers proved to be a flash in the pan, conceding 123 points in back-to-back losses to the Brumbies and Waratahs. With a 1-1-11 record, the Japanese outfit are running last, while they are ranked 16th in attack and 17th in defence.
Versatile Springboks star Jesse Kriel will be utilised at fullback this week for the Bulls, lining up against reliable compatriot Riaan Viljoen.
Stats That Matter
Both teams are 6-7 against the start in 2016. The Sunwolves are 0-5 on the road in their debut campaign (1-4 ATS). The Bulls have won 26 and drawn one of their last 31 matches at Loftus Versfeld; they are 9-4-1 at home since the beginning of last year (7-7 against the line). Home sides are 65-48-3 this season (62-55 against the start). Home favourites are 58-20 overall and 45-33 ATS in 2016.
Despite a few surprise results at home, the Sunwolves just haven’t been up to Super Rugby standard – and their away results have been appalling. The Bulls don’t possess the firepower of the Down Under teams that have been putting the cleaners through the Sunwolves, but a big scoreline seems inevitable in Pretoria this weekend.
The Way It’s Shaping
Bulls by 33
Bulls -29.5 ($1.90)
Bulls by 31-35 ($7.50)