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The Breakdown: fantastic week of rugby

The Waratahs have made some odd player selections this week, but they still look set to beat the Brumbies.

PT4M31S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-21jq7 620 349

Mr Price Kings Park Stadium, Durban, Sunday 3.10am (AEST)
Last meeting:
Round 1 2012 - Bulls 18 bt Sharks 13 at Loftus Versfeld
Head-to-head: Played 19 Sharks 10 Bulls 7 drawn 2
In Durban: Played 9 Sharks 5 Bulls 3 drawn 1
Referee: Jaco Peyper (RSA)
TV:
Live, FoxSports 2
TAB Sportsbet:
Sharks $1.80 Bulls $1.95

Greg Growden writes: The Sharks have injury problems, and the Bulls are edgy. The visitors should win, but it is a bit of a worry that the Bulls are talking about finals positions. That's usually slippery-slide time.

AAP writes: The bitter South African rivals have it all to play for here in what shapes as a brutal battle. The Bulls, who ran up a 40-0 start against the Cheetahs, still have designs on top spot in their conference but could also become vulnerable if they lose to the Sharks. The Sharks knocked the Bulls out of play-off contention last year with a gripping three-point win but will drop out of the 2012 running if they fail to repeat the dose. The home side will be without stars Patrick Lambie and Willem Alberts but have been helped by the return of Springboks centre Frans Steyn. Lambie’s goalkicking could be sorely missed.

SHARKS: Louis Ludik, JP Pietersen, Tim Whitehead, Frans Steyn, Lwazi Mvovo, Frederic Michalak, Charl McLeod, Ryan Kankowski, Marcell Coetzee, Keegan Daniel (c), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Anton Bresler, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira. Reserves: Craig Burden, Wiehahn Herbst, Jandre Marais, Jean Deysel, Cobus Reinach, Meyer Bosman, Odwa Ndungane

BULLS: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (c), Jacques Potgieter, Dewald Potgieter, Juandre Kruger, Flip vd Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling. Reserves: Willie Wepener, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp, CJ Stander, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouche, Francois Venter.