Match Preview | Vodacom Bulls
The race for the United Rugby Championship playoffs reaches a new level this weekend, as Glasgow Warriors travel to Pretoria to take on the Vodacom Bulls in a clash that could have a major influence on the end of season standings.
After a 32-7 reverse at the hands of the DHL Stormers last Friday, Danny Wilson’s men know that there is little margin for error as they head to the high veldt for the second match in their South African double-header.
The historic surroundings of Loftus Versfeld will be the stage for Friday night’s encounter, as the two sides go head-to-head for the first time in the history of professional rugby.
Victory would guarantee Glasgow’s place in the playoffs ahead of the final round of the competition, with results elsewhere also set to play a significant role in setting the stage for the season’s conclusion.
Here’s how the match is shaping up ahead of Friday night:
Two rounds to go.
This will be the first fixture between Glasgow Warriors and the Bulls since the inception of professional rugby, the third match in a row that will see the Warriors play their first match against an opponent.
The men from Pretoria are led by former South Africa Head Coach Jake White, who led the Springboks to Rugby World Cup glory back in 2007.
His side currently sits eighth in the URC, with nine wins from their 16 matches thus far in the competition.
Ones to watch
Blessed with a wicked sidestep and a defence-frightening turn of pace, Kurt-Lee Arendse has been in sparkling form in recent weeks. The full-back, who scored twice in last weekend’s win over Benetton, leads the league in metres made with 991, as well as topping the chart with 21 clean breaks.
Second only to Arendse in metres made, Madosh Tambwe has continued to show the form that saw him become the breakout star of last season’s Rainbow Cup. The winger blends power and pace to deadly effect, having made 18 clean breaks in his 15 matches to date in the URC.
Despite the pace out wide, it’s a forward who tops the Bulls’ try-scoring charts in 2021/22 so far, and a familiar face to northern hemisphere rugby fans. Former Ulster back-rower Marcel Coetzee has been in a rich vein of form since returning to his homeland, with his try against Benetton last weekend his ninth of the campaign – more than any other player in the competition bar Stormers winger Leolin Zas.
A new face will be in the middle for Friday night’s clash, as Georgian referee Nika Amashukeli takes charge of his first Glasgow Warriors fixture in his third appointment in the URC.
AJ Jacobs and Griffin Colby will be his assistants, with Marius van der Westhuizen once more on hand if and when required as the Television Match Official.
The match is live on Premier Sports 1 and urc.tv this Friday evening, with kick-off scheduled for 6pm UK time.
You can also follow the action in our Live Match Centre, bringing you all the updates as and when they happen.