Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer believes the Sharks can beat the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
Meyer’s side bashed the Aussies at Loftus last weekend and says the Sharks can do the same.
“I reckon they could beat any side on a given day,” Meyer told news24. “In our warm-up game against the Sharks at Sun City we experienced their physical approach. And their defensive lines are such that opposing teams find it difficult to score tries against them.
“They also employ a more tactical approach and players such as Ruan Pienaar and Percy Montgomery are great game breakers. There is no reason why they should not beat the Waratahs,” Meyer said.
The last time the Sharks played the ‘Tahs in Sydney was in 2004 when they were smashed 48-14. In 2002, the Sharks copped an even bigger hiding, 42-8.
However, the Sharks are coming off a relative high after losing by two points to the champion Crusaders and fancy their chances of upsetting last year’s finalists.
Dick Muir has made three changes for the Sydney match. Hooker Skipper Badenhorst is replaced by Bismarck du Plessis, while Danie Saayman has come in for Deon Carstens.
Muir’s biggest gamble has been the selection of teenager Bradley Barritt at flyhalf, after Tony Brown was ruled out for 10 days. The coach could have opted for Percy Montgomery at No 10, but has again favoured youth.
“Bradley would run through a brick wall for the Sharks,” said Muir. “He has an indomitable spirit. He is improving with every outing. I enjoy the way he takes the opposition on. That is how I want the Sharks to play.”
Meanwhile, Mat Rogers has expressed his desire to play flyhalf for the ‘Tahs for the remainder of the Super 14 season. The Wallaby will be on the bench on Saturday, after missing the first three rounds following the death of his father.
“I want to play No.10, there’s no doubt about that,” Rogers said. “I’ve spoken to the coach. Still this is the first hit-out this weekend. I’ll have to see how much time I get, see how I am physically, and we’ll go from there.
“A month ago I wasn’t sure where I was going to be at this time. But it’s great to be involved with the team again, and coming off the bench is probably a nice way to ease my way back in.”
WARATAHS: Sam Norton-Knight, Peter Hewat, Morgan Turinui, Shaun Berne, Lote Tuqiri, Daniel Halangahu, Chris Whitaker (c), David Lyons, Phil Waugh (v-c), Wycliff Palu, Daniel Vickerman, Alex Kanaar, Al Baxter, Adam Freier, Benn Robinson.
Subs: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Troy Takiari, Will Caldwell, Stephen Hoiles, Brett Sheehan, Mat Rogers, Ben Jacobs.
SHARKS: 15. Percy Montgomery, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Brent Russell, 10. Bradley Barritt, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Jacques Botes, 7. AJ Venter (c), 6. Solly Tyibilika, 5. Albert van den Berg, 4. Johann Muller, 3. Brendon Botha, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Danie Saayman
Subs: 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. Deon Carstens, 18. Johan Ackermann, 19. Braam Immelman, 20. Sandile Nxumalo, 21. Gcobani Bobo, 22. Dusty Noble