Ockert de Villiers - Sport24
Johannesburg - The Bulls have identified the breakdown as a
key area in their Super Rugby clash against the Chiefs in Rotorua on Friday
(kick-off 09:35 SA time).
The Pretoria side’s defeat in their tour opener against the
Blues last weekend has dealt their playoff hopes a serious blow and they are
under pressure to beat a dangerous Chiefs side.
The Bulls will be looking to reverse an eight match losing
stroke abroad and their first away victory over the Chiefs since 2010 to blow
some life into their campaign.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made adjustments to his loose trio
with Arno Botha and Lappies Labuschagne moving to the bench to make way for
Jacques du Plessis and Deon Stegmann respectively.
While the Bulls were competitive at the breakdowns against
the Blues, they will have to be accurate in this area of play against the
Bulls captain Pierre Spies said the Blues match was a good
dress rehearsal of what to expect from the Chiefs, particularly at ruck time.
“I just felt our execution wasn’t there against the Blues
which was quite disappointing but we’ve learnt a lot of from that game,” Spies
“The New Zealand teams all have a similar approach at the
breakdown and on defence so we’ve done our preparations for that.”
In their midst, the Chiefs have one of the top breakdown
specialists in Sam Cane, who has made the third most turnovers this season.
Bulls will call on Stegmann's ball scavenger abilities to
either slow down the Chiefs ball or ensure his side some quality possession at
Spies said while his side was disappointed about starting
their tour off with a defeat they needed to be accurate in all facets of the
game to go away with a win.
“We would have liked to win the game against the Blues but in
the tournament that we are playing in you have to be spot on every week,” he
“We will have to be up for the challenge against the Chiefs
this week as both teams are looking for a victory.”
The Bulls’ scrum was exceptional against the Blues and
Ludeke hoped this set-piece would allow them a solid attacking platform on
“That (the scrums) is one area where we made a huge step
forward, we were very competitive there on their ball and on our own,” Ludeke
“We created a lot of pressure there and we would like to
continue with that, and obviously looking at Chiefs they applied huge pressure
in the scrums against the Hurricanes before they had the lock injury.”
15 Tom Marshall, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Anton
Lienert-Brown, 11 Bryce Heem, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Michael
Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Johan Bardoul, 4 Michael
Fitzgerald/Ross Filipo, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Mitchell Graham
Substitutes: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18
Pauliasi Manu, 19 Brian Alainu'uese, 20 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Andrew
Horrell, 23 Tim Nanai-Williams
15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12
Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre
Spies (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4
Flip van de Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Werner
Kruger, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Lappies Labuschagne, 21 Burger Odendaal, 22
Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23 Travis Ismaiel