Steenkamp at lock for decider
Wilhelm Steenkamp (Gallo)
Pretoria - Vodacom Bulls lock Wilhelm Steenkamp is back in the starting line-up of the team for their final group match in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament against the MTN Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Steenkamp replaces the injured Flip van der Merwe from the Bulls side that lost to the Sharks in Durban last weekend.
The 27 year old lock has last started for the Bulls in their clash against the Chiefs in Hamilton earlier in the season and will play in his 51st match at this level after stints with The Sharks and Toyota Cheetahs.
His place on the bench will be taken by fit-again opensider Deon Stegmann who has fully recovered from a broken arm suffered earlier in the season.
Jacques Potgieter will provide cover at lock, Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said.
“We don’t need to tell the players at this stage of the competition what is at stake. Everyone knows that the rewards for the hard work that we have put in can be justified with a good win. We had the play-offs as our first objective for the season, but definitely not our only one,” Ludeke said.
“We respect the Lions and is expecting them to come at us with everything they have. They have nothing to lose, so will be a very dangerous side. We need to focus on what we want to achieve, go out and execute that. The pressure will be on us to improve from last weekend.”
The Bulls match will be the last one of tournament play and the team will know exactly what is needed to make the play-offs, but according to Ludeke, it does not change the way they approach the game.
“Our take has been to take it one game at a time and focus on those 80 minutes ahead of us. It will not change and we will still be going for the win first and foremost. We are not going to try and dictate any permutations. If you try to do that, you can lose focus on the task at hand. If we lose we are out, so the win will be the only focus for us.”
• Mornè Steyn has scored more points than any other South African player in Super Rugby (1181 points) and could extend that record against the Lions. He also holds the record for penalties (214), conversions (206) and the tournament record for drop goals (24).
•Wynand Olivier will play in his 102nd Super match for the Bulls and is the most experienced South African midfielder in the competition.
•Bjorn Basson has scored nine tries in2012 and need one more try to become the record holder for tries in a season. He currently shares this record with Bryan Habana.
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona
Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain),
7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Juandrè Kruger,
4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Deon Stegmann), 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis
Fouchè, 22 Francois Venter