JOHN GOLIATH identifies a couple of players from the Vodacom Bulls and Sharks who can make an impact in Saturday’s quarter-finals.
HURRICANES vs BULLS (Saturday, 9:35am)
Warrick Gelant (Bulls)
The Bulls fullback has had a rather stop-start season because of injuries, but he remains one of South Africa’s most dangerous attacking players. The Hurricanes are known for their play with ball in hand, but they also have a great attacking kicking game. Gelant’s positional play will have to be spot on, while he is the type of player who can punish average kicking by the opposition.
Marco van Staden (Bulls)
‘Eskom’ – as Van Staden is nicknamed – will have a massive task on his hands to neutralise star Hurricanes opensider Ardie Savea, who has had an incredible season stealing ball. Van Staden’s primary role on attack will have to be to protect the Bulls’ possession. Savea’s stealing ability is key to the Hurricanes’ counter-attacking strategy, as they enjoy having a go from broken play.
BRUMBIES vs SHARKS (Saturday,12:05pm)
Rob du Preez (Sharks)
There has been a lot said about Du Preez being picked ahead of Curwin Bosch and being favoured by his father, Robert Snr. But now is the time for ‘junior’ to prove everybody wrong and show that his dad was indeed right to pick him for the playoff, even though Bosch is fit again after missing the match against the Stormers. Robert Jnr needs to show the ‘cockroaches’ who is boss …
Ruben van Heerden (Sharks)
The Sharks pack has been ravaged by injuries, with powerful flank Jean-Luc du Preez and veteran loosehead prop Tendai Mtawarira not able to make the trip to Australia. Van Heerden will have to bring the heat for the Sharks in the engine room. He played really well against the Stormers, and needs to make the same physical impact against the Brumbies.
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