The Bulls will be looking to continue with their impressive run of collecting trophies of the past six months when they take on table-topping Benetton who will be out to complete a remarkable underdog story in Treviso, Italy on Saturday.

The Italian outfit goes into this maiden Pro14 Rainbow Cup final as the only unbeaten side across both sections of the competition which was an impressive turnaround after their winless 2020/21 Guinness PRO14 campaign.

Jake White’s outfit finished eight points clear at the top of the South African standings after losing only one of their six fixtures to earn a deserved place in the long-awaited first cross-hemisphere clash of the competition.

The men from the capital city have been in almost unstoppable form since the resumption of play following last year’s strict lockdown in South Africa, when all rugby competitions were halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since then, the Bulls have bagged the Super Rugby Unlocked, the Preparation Series, Currie Cup trophies in addition to winning bragging rights in the Rainbow Cup SA.

Benetton will be hoping to take advantage of home advantage as they have won all four games at their venue since defeat to Cardiff Blues in the Guinness PRO14 in March.

Benetton Treviso v Bulls

Bulls coach Jake White has named the strongest possible squad for the final against Benetton despite the exclusion of several players who have been called up for Springboks and Blitzboks and those who are unavailable due to injury.

In naming his squad, White made three changes to his starting lineup that did battle against the Sharks last weekend with Chris Smith at flyhalf in the absence Morne Steyn and Nizaam Carr on the openside with Marco van Staden also with the Boks.

Jan Uys slots in at lock in the number five jersey with Janko Swanepoel dropping to the bench and all the three players bring energy and experience to the side Smith sharing the top try scorer position for the team together with Madosh Thambwe and David Kriel.

Marcell Coetzee will skipper the Bulls who are without their Boks, Morne Steyn, Trevor Nyakane and Marco van Staden whilst Duane Vermuelen is on the injured list along with Embrose Papier, Arno Botha, Elrigh Louw.

To lay their hands on the trophy, Bulls will have to overcome the Benetton side that claimed their place in the final after finishing as the only unbeaten team in the northern section of this tournament and they won all their four home games in Treviso.

This match will also be a special occasion for Benetton’s South African-born scrumhalf and captain Dewaldt Duvenage who represented South Africa at U20 level and played for the Stormers for several years before leaving for Italy in 2017.

Pick: Benetton Treviso at 0.50 at BetXChange


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