Since reaching the Super Rugby semi-finals back in 2013, the Vodacom Bulls have had a frustrating couple of seasons, rooted to 9th in the overall standings and very much outside the playoff picture. A new season brings new optimism, of course, and more importantly, new shirts – let’s see if the Bulls fans have something to celebrate in the jersey stakes…
Look, we’re not deluded enough to say that an awful jersey will cause your team to do badly on the field, but it’s worth remembering that the Bulls fortunes started going rapidly south when the men from Pretoria wore two kits that are, to be frank, some of the most awful pieces of shit we’ve ever had the displeasure to review.
Those awful camo shirts are a distant memory however, and the new 2016 shirts builds on last year’s bull’s head motif to create something that’s even more out there and unusual – something that Puma South Africa are dubbing their ‘Stellar Kit’.
And ‘Stellar’ is indeed an appropriate word – the bull face has been brought front and centre this time around, occupying the whole bottom half of the front of the shirt, while across the chest we have a star-filled sky. It’s definitely NOT what the traditionalist would choose, but there’s something so wantonly crazy and original about it, we can’t help but appreciate it.
The away shirt breaks with tradition by changing last year’s white for a much more brooding black, with the bull and night sky motif rendered in striking, unusual orange-to-red fade effect.
It’s very unconventional, and is nicer than the home shirt as a result, we think. The fade gives that setting-sun effect to the starry night sky, and it lets the bull stand out proudly as well.
A word about the stars – they’re not as haphazard as they might initially appear. On closer inspection, you’ll see that they form the pattern of a the constellation Taurus, which of course is the bull. Clever. What’s more the stars, and various accents on the bull’s face have been embellished with reflective colours, which will catch the light. We haven’t seen it in action yet, but it sounds cool!
The third Bulls shirt we’ll see this season is a charity one, and will be worn for one Bulls home game during the 2016 Super Rugby season. It’s identical to the home, but sees the return of pink – a colour that was worn as an alternate for a few years until 2013, and was hugely popular.
The colour is not just being used because it was popular, however – the jersey is being worn to support CANSA (Cancer Association Of South Africa) and to salute ‘those persevering in the fight against cancer’. Nice.
If you’re vaguely man-shaped and you want to support the cause, however, you’re out of luck – disappointingly, replicas of the pink charity jersey are only being sold in ladies’ cut. Dudes like pink too, Puma!
Some people are going to hate these shirts, and we can totally understand why – they’re garish, modern and more than a little bit bonkers. And yet, we can’t help but like them. They’re so defiantly, unapologetically ugly… but in a good way… and that away shirt even mixes in a really cool, unusual colour scheme. Stellar indeed.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: Good