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
125 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running
Fixtures
25 October 2014
Western Province v Golden Lions, Cape Town 17:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Western Province and the Golden Lions will do battle at Newlands on Saturday, October 25 for the 2014 Absa Currie Cup title. Who will lift the trophy after 80 minutes?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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