Currie Cup

Consistency key for Bulls

2011-08-31 17:12
Pine Pienaar (File)

Pretoria - With the start of the business end of the season, Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar said his team will look to find consistency in the second round of the Currie Cup as they prepare to meet the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

With their quest now on securing a semi-final spot, the Bulls want to find fluidity in their play and a vast improvement on their position of sixth on the log.

They come off a scrappy 28-20 win over Platinum Leopards last Friday where they also failed to get a bonus point having scored three tries.

"It's gonna be tough this week but we are looking forward to the challenge ahead," said Pienaar.

"The focus will be more on what we want to do, we made too many mistakes last week and this week we focused on correcting them and think it will be different on Saturday.

"We didn't hang on to the ball against the Leopards and conceded a few penalties - we can be better."

Though the Bulls will not be expecting to have it easy against the third-placed Sharks who are coming off a 28-19 defeat to the Lions at Ellis Park last weekend.

The Sharks dominated the Bulls when they met in the first round, beating them 35-16 at King's Park Stadium in Durban.

Pienaar is expecting his wily opposite number John Plumtree to employ a more physical game similar to their last meeting in July.

"They gave us a hiding the last time, and beat us in the Super 15 at Loftus as well but I think we are an improved outfit since we last played them," Pienaar said.

"We know that we can't give them turnover ball or a bit of loose play with the players they have, and I think (flyhalf Frederick) Michalak is going to be a threat and cannot catch us napping like the last time.

"The Sharks will be up for a physical battle, I know 'Plum' will emphasise that, they will be a different side from the one that lost to the Lions."

From the team that beat the Leopards, Pienaar has made three changes in his starting XV with Springbok Dewald Potgieter replacing Arno Botha, who has had a good season, at flank.

Botha moves to the bench while lock Juandre Kruger comes in for Fudge Mabeta who is dropped altogether this week.

Bjorn Basson also makes a return to the team on the wing.

Both Potgieter and Kruger have recovered from injury while Pienaar has also named former SA Under-19 player Francois Brummer as a substitute with Marnitz Boshoff and Jono Ross missing out in match squad selection.

"Juandre is coming back from injury and played well in the last games before he was out especially against Griquas, and Dewald has recovered too," said Pienaar.

"Marnitz has played well, there isn't anything wrong but I thought I'd give Francois a chance to be in the first 22."

Teams:

Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Zane Kirchner, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouch, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Gary Botha (captain), 1 Dean Greyling

Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Francois Venter

Sharks:

TBA

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