Bulls: Trials for No 9 slot

2012-10-17 07:45

Cape Town - Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar appears to be in two minds about who his scrumhalf will be in their Currie Cup semi-final against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

The Beeld website reports that Jano Vermaak and Francois Hougaard were continuously swopped during training on Tuesday, with the rest of the starting XV looking settled.

Vermaak started against the Lions in Johannesburg last week and was his impressive self in a 50-29 win. However, Hougaard has that much-needed X-factor so vital for a semi-final, which leaves coach Pienaar with a tough decision.

Should he opt for Hougaard it is likely to be the only change to the starting line-up that did duty at Coca-Cola Park.

Chiliboy Ralepelle isn't believed to be 100%, so Willie Wepener looks likely to remain at hooker.

Pienaar is also considering a change from a 5:2 forward-backs ratio to a 4:3 split, which could leave the door open for backline player Jürgen Visser.

After their impressive show last week, the Bulls have now won three out of their last four games and seem to be peaking at the right time after fighting a relegation threat for most of the season.

In fact, their only loss in the last month was a narrow, 13-12 loss to the Sharks in treacherous conditions in Durban on September 28. And Pienaar believes they can draw a lot from that loss going into Saturday's semi-final at Kings Park.

"The conditions that night were very tough," he said earlier in the week.

"But the tactical plans we made for that game really worked well. If I have my calculations right, we haven't beaten them in a Currie Cup game in Durban since 2006. But after our recent game there, we'll definitely give ourselves a chance."

The clash at Kings Park kicks off at 16:30.


  • spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-17 07:53

    Both are class. Go Bulls!!!

      ReneMuller.XOXO - 2012-10-17 07:55

      Spyker, it should be a no brainer - start with Vermaak, he has been brilliant - bring Hougie in later.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-17 07:57

      Agreed Rene, Pity Chilly cant start!!!

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-17 07:59

      Stem volkome saam.

      blou.johnny - 2012-10-17 08:13

      ..agree... ..start with Vermaak and bring on Hougaard later... ...easy...

  • jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-17 07:54

    Speel vermaak en Hougie as impak speler!!!

      henk.jacobs.39 - 2012-10-17 07:57

      Dit gaan mooi werk. Vermaak lyk goed en dis 'n nagmerrie as jy 'n goeie speler met nog een kan vervang!!!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-17 08:00

      Waar henk, en Hougie is beter as die game begin los raak!!!

      henk.jacobs.39 - 2012-10-17 08:06

      100% Dis sy kos as dit los raak, kan nie wag vir die game nie!!!

  • nkwe.mahlanghu - 2012-10-17 07:54

    Trolls trialing? What next? Isak Visser for Springbok Coach?

      nkwe.mahlanghu - 2012-10-17 09:09

      Dankie Sakkie ek is 'n Lion

  • john.comyn.18 - 2012-10-17 08:22

    I don't think it will make a difference. The Sharks will hammer the Bulls but if it was my choice it would be Hougaard. Vermaak is overrated and has the weakest defense of all the scrummies playing CC. He is also a loose canon who does stupid stuff at times. WP for the CC!

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-17 08:29

      When I started reading your comment, the first thought that popped into my mind was that this idiot has the personality of a WP supporter. I got it spot on.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-17 08:30

      Thank goodness for freedom of speech and having the right to an opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s right though!!!

      ReneMuller.XOXO - 2012-10-17 08:30

      @john, go and watch ballet - you know less than nothing when it comes to rugby.

      lablue.phoenix - 2012-10-17 09:01

      Rene, why? Just because he has an opinion? I tend to agree with him, although it would be pretty cool if the Bulls win, then it could be a WP Bulls final. Oh it's true, it's true.

      john.comyn.18 - 2012-10-17 09:31

      @ Rene - What I do know is Hougaard was 1st choice scrumhalf in the S15 side and has been dumped by a coach that probably knows less than I do. But since you are so knowlegeable tell me what Jano offers that Hougaard does not? @ Spyker - you did get it spot on. Well done you are a genius!

      BlouMasjien1 - 2012-10-17 10:01

      @john.comyn, Nobody knows less than you do !

      bakkies.botha.39 - 2012-10-17 12:12

      @john.comyn.18 net daai comment wys jy weet minder as Pine!!!

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-17 08:24

    The depth at scrumhalf in this country is incredible. And Cobus Reinach from the Sharks shows the future is bright!!

      jimmy.moustache.12 - 2012-10-17 08:42

      gary i actually agree with you. it won't be long before reinach will be in a bok group. just like his dad.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-17 08:42

      Loosies and Scrummies, looks like we have a factory

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-17 08:45

      And with Bolla Conradie back with WP, their future is just as bright.

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-17 09:01

      The return of the old school scrumhalf style is effective and refreshing to watch. Jano Vermaak has always played in that style as well which has made him extremely reliable.

      apart1heid - 2012-10-17 09:09

      @spyker- met bollie conradie is al di spanne se future bright??

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-17 09:14

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha, classic apart1heid.

  • summer.mackenzie.96 - 2012-10-17 08:56

    Why is everyone talking about the Bulls, sharks are going to eat them

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-17 09:01

      I hope not, then that will be cannibalism

      summer.mackenzie.96 - 2012-10-17 09:07

      Ha well ......something like that :)............hope they wear their pink shirts

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-17 09:15

      Summer, the pink shirts was only for the Super 15. Back to the kitchen you go.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-17 09:17

      Well summer, Good luck to your team, its gona be a cracker!!! Enjoy!!

      summer.mackenzie.96 - 2012-10-17 09:19

      But they did look cute .................admit it ha ha

      summer.mackenzie.96 - 2012-10-17 09:21

      Thanks Jaco will do..........even if there is a little cannibalism on the go :)

  • lionel.kritzinger - 2012-10-17 09:00

    Vermaak must start at 9. He deserves to start. Hougi as impact player.

      bakkies.botha.39 - 2012-10-17 11:39

      Jis tjom lees jy voor jy comment? 300 mense het dit klaar gese!!!

  • marthunis.britz - 2012-10-17 09:56

    X Factor of Hougaard is a kick over the ruck, a kick over the scrum and a kick just down field when he recieves the ball. He lost his X factor as all the chargedowns this year showed everybody knows exactly what he will do... Kick... No X there just down field to get his team defending. He have a great ability to attack but someone seem to have told them a team can score tries by defending those who run at you after you kick posession away! Please just let the backline run, or run at the defence keep ball in hand and your team can score. Vermaak better at this stage. Hougaard not who he was a year ago.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-17 10:03

      Its because he wasn’t utilized correctly, Hougi is an impact player, he must come on with 20-30 min left in the game, when thing are more loose and open!!

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