The Bulls have a lot riding on this weekend’s round 13 of the Vodacom Super 14 competition.
Defeat to the battered Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night coupled with a Brumbies win over the Highlanders at Carisbrook will put paid to South African hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals with one round still to go.
The Brumbies, currently on 37 points, are in pole position to annex the fourth spot, while the Bulls (33 points) and even the Sharks (29 points) are in with a chance of leap-frogging the former champions if results go their way. It’s a mathematical chance at best. If the Brumbies win both their remaining games, no one can catch them.
However, if the Bulls can do the double to the Crusaders on Friday night, Heyneke Meyer’s charges will all be cheering for the Highlanders on Saturday morning. The line is fine. Both the Brumbies and Bulls will be hoping for their best case scenarios this weekend to avoid it all going down to the wire next weekend. It may still go that way regardless.
A Bulls win will lift them to 37 or 38 points depending on whether they can get the bonus point, which means if the Brumbies lose and get no points, the Bulls could go to Cape Town in a fortnight already in fourth place.
\The Brumbies remain in New Zealand and tackle the Crusaders in Christchurch, while the Bulls face a Stormers team hell-bent on revenge for the 75-14 drubbing handed out at the same time last year.
The Waratahs and Crusaders have already qualified, but have yet to secure the coveted home semi, while the Hurricanes should make their place safe this weekend when they host the Reds.
By Andrew Hollely