Jean punts on Bulls v Crusaders Final

Sun, 14 Jul 2013 20:25
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The Bulls may have had a poor fortnight, in the last two rounds of league action, but they are still a good bet to host the Super Rugby Final.

The Bulls may have had a poor fortnight, in the last two rounds of league action, but they are still a good bet to host the Super Rugby Final.

In fact Springbok captain Jean de Villiers feels the Bulls are likely to host the Crusaders in the grand finale on Saturday, August 3.

This comes despite the fact that his team, the Stormers, demolished the Bulls (30-13) at Newlands at the weekend.

The preliminary qualifiers (or quarterfinals) will see the Crusaders host Reds in Christchurch on Saturday, while the Brumbies will be at home to the Cheetahs in Canberra on Sunday.

By finishing the season as the competition's two highest-ranked conference winners, the Chiefs and Bulls have earned the week off and progress straight to the Super Rugby semifinals. The Chiefs will host the lowest ranked qualifier and the Bulls the higher ranked team in the semis.

The highest ranked team after the semifinals will host the Final. If the Bulls and Crusaders advance, as De Villiers suggested, the Bulls will host the grand finale - despite finishing second on the standings.

De Villiers admitted it will be tough for the Cheetahs.

"It has been a great season for them and hopefully they can cause a couple of upsets," De Villiers said at the post-match conference, after the Stormers' impressive win over the Bulls.

"It is going to be really tough for them, as they will have to travel away all three games if they are going to make it to the Final.

"Good luck to them, hopefully they can do that.

"Essentially you probably going to have to back the Bulls - they still finished second, they will have a week off."

The Bulls will be hoping to get a number of their injured players, who missed the trip to Newlands, back for the semifinals.

"Hopefully they will get some injured players back - a guy like Jan [Serfontein], who is very important to them from a ball carrying point of view," the Stormers and Bok skipper said.

He added that the Bulls would also hope to get some experience back for the play-offs.

"You never know what can happen," De Villiers said, adding: "The Crusaders are on a bit of a roll and they will probably get the Chiefs in he semifinal.

"I won't be surprised to have a Bulls versus Crusaders Final at Loftus [Versfeld].

"And you have to back the Bulls."

The Bok captain said that from a national team point of view, you would want them to travel as little as possible and not get injured.

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Reds 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0