Nick Mallett says the Vodacom Bulls are the best-equipped of the South African teams to claim the Vodacom United Rugby Championship title this season.
The Bulls will host the Sharks in the quarter-final stage of the URC on Saturday afternoon, after finishing fourth on the overall table.
Should the home side win, they would then likely face a tough trip to the tournament’s number one side Leinster in the semi-finals.
The Irish giants were heavy favourites to claim the European Champions Cup this season, but came unstuck in a thrilling final against La Rochelle, as the French outfit scored a last-gasp try to snatch the title.
Writing in a column for Sport24, former Springbok coach Mallett explained why he thought the Bulls were the most likely of the South African teams to be able to replicate La Rochelle’s efforts and stop Leinster.
“It was a classic South African performance from La Rochelle that cut down space and time and didn’t allow Leinster to play, and it perhaps gave some clues as to how sides who meet the Irish giants and tournament favourites later in the United Rugby Championship might go about beating them,” Mallett wrote.
“For me, the Bulls are the South African franchise best equipped to do that.
“I think they are the only South African team with the physicality to do what La Rochelle did to Leinster. I think it would be very tough for either the Sharks or Stormers to beat Leinster away, and if we do have one team that can probably do it if everything works for them on the day, it would be the Bulls.
“They take on the Sharks this weekend at Loftus in a mouthwatering quarter-final, and they possess that blend of physicality and an ability to get the basics right that makes them our best bet at coming out of the URC with silverware.”
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