They have a new coach who may not have a lot of experience, but with their Bulls experienced squad they have some true leaders
The Bulls have won Super Rugby on three occasions, and are the most, and only, successful SA side in the competition. The Lions have been close, making a number of finals, but it is the traditional South African style of play that has seen the men from Pretoria succeed.
The Sharks will be heading to South Africa’s traditionally toughest ground to try and bounce back from a disappointing home loss against the Stormers last weekend. But, they will also know that the Bulls of 2019 are not the same of 2018 or 2017 for that matter.
The men from Pretoria, who won the title three times in quite quick succession, have been rebuilding. They have a new coach who may not have a lot of experience, but with their Bulls experienced squad they have some true leaders.
Pote Human has taken over the Super Rugby campaign, but he has in his arsenal the likes of Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Brits to add a lot of experience.
They may only be two players in a match day squad of 23, but they are pure rugby gold which can shape the direction of any team. Vermeulen is seen as a traditional South African forward; powerful, dangerous, and abrasive, and something the Sharks will need to try and counter directly.
At the same time Brits may well be on the older side, but he is sprightly in his own play.
The Bulls are not only made of these key veterans, they also have the likes of Handré Pollard, who is finding the form that accompanies his raw talent, as well as a host of other key Springboks likes Jesse Kriel and Sevens star Rosko Specman.
The Sharks will certainly need to up their game from the performance they put on against the men from the Cape. They will, probably behind closed doors, admit they were a little complacent against the Stormers at home seeing as the Cape side were hammered by the Bulls.
That must then surely mean they will be more than prepared for the onslaught of a reinvigorated Bulls side at Loftus.
The problem is that the Sharks are also well in line to be shining stars this year after winning the Currie Cup, but if they can not overcome the Bulls, after losing to fellow South Africans the Stormers, they cannot be taken as a real threat this year.