Vodacom Super Rugby
Bulls desperate to turn tables
Pierre Spies (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Bulls captain Pierre Spies says they have to redeem themselves in this weekend's Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies following two consecutive losses on tour.
"We understand the importance of this game, the spirit in the team is still positive," Spies said ahead of Saturday's match in Brisbane.
"Last weekend we weren't playing at our best, and we were still in the game until the last minute."
Spies said the team wanted to end their four-match tour of Australasia on a high following last weekend's 23-18 loss to the Reds and the 41-19 drubbing by the Crusaders the week before.
"This weekend is just another opportunity for us to go onto the field and we want to score some tries and have a good game," the Bulls skipper said.
The Bulls face the unenvious task of trying to rewrite the history books against former Springbok coach Jake White's log-leading Brumbies.
The Pretoria-based franchise have only once beaten the Australian side on their own turf out of six matches there.
In their last visit to Canberra four years ago they were edged out by the Brumbies in the dying moments of the match to lose by 32-31.
Until last weekend's 35-22 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town, White's men were the only unbeaten side left in the competition.
"We need more points and we need to get it in Canberra," Spies said.
"If we want to finish this tour the way we planned, we cannot afford another match full of slipped opportunities."
In what could be perceived to be an effort to strengthen their fire power in midfield, coach Frans Ludeke this week called on rising star Jan Serfontein to make his starting debut for the side.
The Bulls have further been boosted by the news that 'ball terrier' flanker Deon Stegmann was fit play in their last match on tour.
They have been found wanting in the past without a recognised opensider such as Stegmann, and his role will be further emphasised against Australian stalwart George Smith.
Spies said discipline would once again be crucial in a match where they were desperate for the result.
Going up against a fellow countryman, Ludeke said he had a lot of respect for White, and ignored the notion of the battle of the two South African coaches.
"They are well-coached, well-structured and have a number of players that can kill you off," Ludeke said.
"We will have to be at the very best of our game, something I feel we are getting close to."
Kick-off in Canberra is at 10:40 (SA time).
Zane Kirchner, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein,
11 Jürgen Visser, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies
(captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Paul
Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Morné Mellett
16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Arno
Botha, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Francois Venter