Currie Cup

Pienaar harbours Bullish hopes

2013-09-18 18:30
Pine Pienaar (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Blue Bulls rugby Pine Pienaar is relatively optimistic about his side's chances of making the Currie Cup playoffs provided they beat the Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

"There are still four games left and we are five points behind the fourth team on the log which is the Lions," Pienaar said at the team announcement in Pretoria on Wednesday.

"It is a must win for us -- we can win all four and maybe not make it - but to keep our hopes alive for that semi we have to go out and win this weekend.

"Mathematically you may still make it, but then it is not up to you."

While the Lions annihilated the Bulls 62-32 in the first round of the competition at Loftus Versfeld, Pienaar believed the scoreline did not truly reflect what his side was capable of.

"We are definitely not looking at what happened at Loftus, we learnt from it and we know if we give them the same opportunities they will punish us again.

"The players are looking forward to a massive challenge and we know we are in a tight spot when it comes to the log."

After the Bulls’ 29-18 defeat to Western Province over the weekend, Pienaar warned he would be making some changes to his side.

True to his word, Pienaar made six changes to the team, with only one due to injury.

The Light Blues have been boosted by the return of Springbok flyer Bjorn Basson, who was released from the national side to play in the Currie Cup.

Basson replaces Sampie Mastriet on the left wing, while the fleet-footed Clayton Blommetjies will receive a starting berth in the place of Jurgen Visser, who drops to the bench.

The inclusion of Tony Jantjies in the starting XV in the place of the injured Handre Pollard could see him face off against his brother Elton.

Ulrich Beyers has been given the number 13 jersey at the expense of Waylon Murray, who drops out of the match-day 22.

Pienaar made a further three changes to his pack with experienced lock Wilhelm Steenkamp moving back into the side in the place of Grant Hattingh.

The Bulls have called on more experience with Bandise Maku receiving his first start of the season at hooker for the injured Bongi Bbonambi.

Bulls captain Jono Ross said the players needed to take responsibility for their performances following a lacklustre display against Province.

"We are the guys that are out there playing for 80 minutes, so we are responsible for what happens on the field," Ross said.

"We need to stand up and be counted now."

A fit-again Werner Kruger will start at tighthead, with Frik Kirsten moving to the bench.

Kick-off is at 17:05 on Saturday.

Teams:

Blue Bulls:

15  Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Morné Mellett.

Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 William Small-Smith, 22 Jurgen Visser

Golden Lions:

TBA

Read more on:    blue bulls  |  currie cup  |  pine pienaar  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
124 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

6 incredible adventures right on our doorstep!

In South Africa we are super lucky to have gazillions of awesome options on our doorsteps to consider.

 
 

Outdoor

We tried CrossFit for 2 months ...
It's your last day to apply to be a Cape Town lifeguard this summer!
Stay motivated to keep fit this winter with these great tips!
EPIC! Watch downhill mountain biking in the Namib-Naukluft desert
Fixtures
07 May 2016
EP Kings v Blue Bulls, Port Elizabeth 14:15
Leopards v Boland Cavaliers, Potchefstroom 14:30
Xerox Golden Lions v Free State XV, Johannesburg 15:00
ORC Griquas v Border Bulldogs, Kimberley 15:00
Pumas v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias, Nelspruit 15:00
Cell C Sharks XV v Western Province, Durban 17:30
13 May 2016
Boland Cavaliers v Griffons, Wellington 15:00
Blue Bulls v Pumas, Pretoria 15:00
Border Bulldogs v Leopards, East London 19:00
SWD Eagles v Hino Valke, George 19:00
14 May 2016
Free State XV v Cell C Sharks XV, Bloemfontein 14:15
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v ORC Griquas, Windhoek 15:00
Western Province v EP Kings, Cape Town 15:00
20 May 2016
Hino Valke v Boland Cavaliers, Kempton Park 15:00
EP Kings v Free State XV, Durban 17:00
Pumas v Western Province, Nelspruit 19:00
21 May 2016
Leopards v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias, Potchefstroom 14:30
ORC Griquas v Blue Bulls, Kimberley 15:00
Cell C Sharks XV v Xerox Golden Lions, Durban 15:00
Griffons v Border Bulldogs, Welkom 15:00
27 May 2016
Boland Cavaliers v SWD Eagles, Wellington 15:00
Free State XV v Pumas, Bloemfontein 15:00
Border Bulldogs v Hino Valke, East London 19:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

The new-look Currie Cup format for 2016 is,

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
SuperBru Super Rugby challenge

Enter and challenge Sport24's staff!

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.