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'They might have the best and the second-best team in the competition'

By Josh Raisey
Leinster/ PA

South Africa and Bulls legend Victor Matfield is hoping his former club mount a late surge to the top of the United Rugby Championship table in their final five matches of the season, but admits that leaders Leinster might have the “best and second-best team in the competition”.


Jake White’s side will begin a stretch of four home matches on the bounce at Loftus Versfeld – a veritable fortress for them – on Saturday when they face reigning URC champions Munster.

Though the Bulls currently trail Leinster by nine points, SuperSport pundit Matfield recently said in a BKT URC media call that they will be hoping the Lions can “do them a favour” at the weekend when they host Jacques Nienaber’s side at Ellis Park.

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Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White talks about the long-term project he is busy with at Loftus Versfeld

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Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White talks about the long-term project he is busy with at Loftus Versfeld

With the Irish province facing the Lions and the Stormers over the next two weeks in South Africa, the complexion of the URC table could look very different in two weeks’ time.

The third place Bulls host the second place Glasgow Warriors in their four-match run at home, with Saturday’s visitors Munster sitting only one place below them in the ladder. Their final match of the regular season is still in South Africa, against the Sharks in Durban, and Matfield believes the Pretoria-based side will back themselves to go five from five.

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“There’s been a lot of talk about the team that Jake [White] took over for the Champions Cup at the Saints,” the former World Cup winner said. “So it’s a big game for the Bulls to win.

“I think they look at this competition and they believe they need at least a home semi-final. They’re probably hoping with Leinster being in South Africa – I haven’t see their team exactly, it looks like they won’t bring their strongest side over – there might just be an opportunity if Leinster maybe lose one or two games over here in South Africa, for them to finish first on the log.


“They have five games left, all of them in South Africa, so they’ll back themselves to win five out of five, but I think this is their toughest game. Munster showed us last year what they can do when they came over and beat the Stormers in the final. A quality side Munster, so that’s going to be an interesting game.

“The other one is the Lions versus Leinster, especially for the Bulls – they would love the Lions to do them a favour. It’s never easy, even if you play a Leinster B side – they might have the best and the second-best team in the competition.”



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Abe 1 hours ago
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