South Africa

Bulls finally on the charge — and the fans are loving it

Bulls crowd 1

For two weeks the Bulls pushed hard to sell out Loftus Versfeld for their URC match against the Stormers, and on Friday afternoon the “sold out” signs went up — more than 50,000 fans would watch the big north-south derby.

And so it was, and not even a delay to the kick-off by an hour due to bad weather was going to stop the faithful from turning out and cheering their team on. And they were duly rewarded with the Bulls snapping a seven-game losing streak in the competition against the Stormers, with an emphatic victory.

Such has been the form of the two teams this season that one felt a Bulls win against the Stormers was close. Jake White’s men have been real competitors since the inception of the URC, but finally, it seems, this season they look like a side that could go all the way.

Changing of the guard?

Saturday’s win against John Dobson’s Stormers – two time finalists and winners in the inaugural edition – suggests there may be a changing of the guard.

Could this be the time for White and the Bulls?

Their results and their play indicate they are on an upwards trajectory and it seems they’re sure to be helped on their way by their die-hard fans.

What a sight Loftus was on Saturday and well done to all involved in getting the ground packed to capacity.

Lions on song

In stark contrast, Ellis Park, a little more than 100km down the M1, in Joburg had just 14,170 fans turn up to watch the home team, the Lions, thrash the Sharks. And that for a 3pm kick-off.

It just shows how important winning regularly is to help swell the crowd. The Lions’ home ground may not be in the best part of town, but they went into the game outside the top 10 on the log and their form rather up and down, while the Sharks, who have supporters all over the country, are down at the bottom of the table and producing nothing to get excited about.

Hopefully the Lions can kick on from Saturday’s good performance and maintain a high standard of quality rugby, which will help get the supporters into Ellis Park.

But one’s got to wonder if even that will be enough to get 50,000 in the next time they face a Stormers or Bulls team in a regular season match?