BJ: Sharks scrum the best

Sharks tighthead prop BJ Botha says the Sharks pack are better than the Bulls.

“We are leading the race in South Africa in terms of scrummaging,” Botha told ahead of what is expected to be a monumental forward tussle when the two teams clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

“It’s going to be huge. The forward exchanges will definitely be where the tone is set for the rest of the match. I expect both teams to come out with all guns blazing from the start.”

Yes, Loftus will not be a place for the faint-hearted this weekend, especially if you are a front-row man. “The Bulls are known for their forward play, but we have been good this season and have been working extra hard on our scrums and lineouts this week.”

Both teams have dangerous backs and whichever pack can assert its authority on the match, it will allow the backline freedom to run at pace. “Both sides have exciting backs. We have a young backline, but very unpredictable in terms of how the opposition must defend against them. The Bulls also have young backs and a few Springboks too. It is going to be massive.”

Botha has risen to prominence with some powerful displays despite his relatively small frame for a prop (183cm and 112kg). Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer has said his players rate Botha very highly, but the mutual admiration ends at 5pm on Saturday when the battle begins.

A possible place in the Vodacom Super 14 semi-finals is the spoils that await the winner.

By Andrew Hollely