Sharks lock Johan Ackermann believes the Bulls will beat the Crusaders at Loftus on Saturday to keep their Vodacom Super 14 semi-final hopes alive.
Having played against both sides this year, the eight-Test Springbok is prepared to make a prediction.
“If they were playing each other in Christchuch then I’d back the Crusaders to win by two points, but because it’s at Loftus I reckon the Bulls will win it narrowly,” he told keo.co.za. “Home ground advantage has played a big role in the Super 14 so far, and is probably worth around five points.”
The Bulls blew the Sharks away with 27 points during the first half of their derby match last weekend, and Ackermann says they’ll need to make a similar start on Saturday.
“The Crusaders are not unbeatable – the Stormers showed us that,” he said. “If the Bulls can get off to a flyer, like they did against us, then the Crusaders will be in big trouble. However, the Bulls will have to make sure they don’t let them back into the game in the second half. If they can beat the Crusaders on Saturday, and the Brumbies slip up, then they can finish fourth on the log.”
By Simon Borchardt