We find ourselves at the closing stages of an intriguing first season of the Rainbow Cup. Benetton have qualified for the final of the North v South match. In our pre-season discussion we completely wrote off the Italians and, considering their dominant form this year and the fact that they are playing closer to home than the qualifying SA team, the winner of the SA conference should not take that challenge lightly. That said, let’s consider the permutations for this weekend.
• For the Sharks to go through to the final they need to:
• Win the game without a bonus point, deny the Bulls a bonus point, and win with a margin of 69 points.
• Win the game with a bonus point, allow the bulls a bonus point and win with a margin of 69 points.
• Win the game with a bonus point and deny the Bulls a bonus point.
• For the Bulls to go through to the final they need to:
• Win the game.
• Lose the game without a bonus point and deny the Sharks a bonus point, and lose the game by less than a margin of 69 points.
• Lose the game with a bonus point and allow the Sharks a bonus point, but lose the game by less than a margin of 69 points.
Vodacom Bulls: David Kriel; Madosh Tambwe, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Cornal Hendricks, Stravino Jacobs; Morne Steyn, Ivan van Zyl; Marcell Coetzee (captain), Ruan Nortje, Marco van Staden, Janko Swanepoel, Walt Steenkamp, Mornay Smith, Johan Grobbelaar, Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: Schalk Erasmus, Jacques van Rooyen, Trevor Nyakane, Nizaam Carr, Muller Uys, Keegan Johannes, Clinton Swart, Gio Aplon.
Cell C Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Anthony Volmink, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona. Replacements: To be confirmed.