LIVE

    Bulls still eye playoffs

    2014-04-30 16:28
    Pretoria - Bulls coach Frans Ludeke says they still have their sights set on reaching the Super Rugby playoffs but their immediate focus will be on their clash against the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

    "We have to be at our best this weekend. It will have to be our best game of the year, that is what we are working for," Ludeke said on Wednesday.

    "The playoffs are still reachable for us and we know the immediate goal is this weekend."

    Meanwhile, the Bulls' mentor made four changes to the run-on side that will face a resurgent Cheetahs outfit.

    Ludeke surprised with the inclusion of Handré Pollard at the expense of Jacques-Louis Potgieter, while his fellow Junior World Championship team-mate William Small-Smith replaces JJ Engelbrecht at outside centre.

    Small-Smith will make up a new centre combination with Jan Serfontein, with whom he partnered at the World Championship on South African soil, while Pollard was the flyhalf at that tournament.

    "The three of them have been playing together for a long time - they're guys that have been together from junior South African level," the coach said.

    Ludeke made a rotational change in the front row with Marcel van der Merwe receiving his first starting berth in place of Werner Kruger.

    Regular hooker Callie Visagie moves back into the starting XV at the expense of Bongi Mbonambi, who drops down to the bench with Bandise Maku moving out of the side altogether.

    The Bulls are coming under increasing pressure regarding their loose forward combination of flanks Jono Ross, Jacques du Plessis and No 8 Grant Hattingh.

    Ross, in particular, has come under severe scrutiny particularly for his performances at the breakdown areas.

    Ludeke, however, came to their defence and said while they had their weaknesses in some areas, there were areas where they excelled.

    "We are in camp and we work with the players and review the game. We get a plan and put it together and we know what we have in every player and what they can bring for us," he said.

    "We've obviously lost four world-class players among the loose forwards, so we are trying to manage that situation."

    Kick-off is at 17:05 on Saturday.

    Teams:

    Bulls:

    15. Jurgen Visser, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. William Small-Smith, 12. Jan Serfontein, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Grant Hattingh, 7. Jacques du Plessis, 6. Jono Ross, 5. Victor Matfield (captain), 4. Paul Willemse, 3. Marcel van der Merwe, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. Dean Greyling

    Substitutes: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Morné Mellett, 18. Werner Kruger, 19. Jacques Engelbrecht, 20. Wimpie van der Walt, 21. Rudy Paige, 22. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23. JJ Engelbrecht

    Cheetahs:

    15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.

    Substitutes: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Ligtoring Landman, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Cornal Hendricks

    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
    98 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read
    Commented

    Fixtures

    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
    14 February 2015
    • Blues v Chiefs, Albany 08:35
    • Sharks v Cheetahs, Durban 17:05
    • Bulls v Stormers, Pretoria 19:10
    15 February 2015
    • Waratahs v Western Force, Sydney 07:05

    Results

    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

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