Pretoria - Blue Bulls captain Lappies Labuschagne says they
will be looking to remove the ‘shackles’ that have been holding them back ahead
of their Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Durban on Friday.
After suffering two defeats over the last fortnight, the Bulls
now boast five wins from seven matches in this year’s campaign.
The Pretoria side will be looking to bounce back following
their losses to the Golden Lions and Western Province.
Lying in second place on the log with 25 points, the Bulls
could secure a semi-final berth with a victory over the coastal side.
The Sharks will be viewing the match as a do-or-die
encounter as they are in fifth place and dangerously close to missing out on a
Labuschagne says they will not obsess over the result or
their position on the log but instead play with reckless abandon.
“The focus this week was to get back to playing the kind of
rugby we enjoy and that we know we can play,” Labuschagne said.
“We’ve put the two defeats behind us and although it is not
nice to lose, I am sure the lessons we’ve learned from it would hold us in good
stead the rest of the campaign.
“I don’t think the defeats will have a negative impact in
future and the focus this week was just to go out and have fun and remove the
While the Bulls have impressed with a more ball-in-hand
approach their scrums have remained a constant issue.
“Our set-piece wasn’t good enough and Western Province put
us under pressure which meant we couldn’t get our backline into the match and
we played under pressure the whole match and they capitalised on that,” coach
Nollis Marais said.
“It (the scrums) is a bit of a liability at the moment, we
are putting certain things in place to rectify that, we have Balie Swart here
next week where we will be working on our scrums.”
Kick-off for Friday’s clash at Kings Park is scheduled for
15. Odwa Ndungane, 14. Wandile Mjekevu, 13. Paul Jordaan,
12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. S’bura Sithole, 10. Joe Pietersen, 9. Cobus Reinach,
8. Philip van der Walt (captain), 7. Christiaan de Bruin, 6. Francois
Kleinhans, 5. Dave McDuling, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2.
Franco Marais, 1. Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Mzamo Majola, 18. Marco
Wentzel, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Michael Claassens, 21. Heimar Williams, 22. Garth
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12
Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno
Botha, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (captain), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4
Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 RG
Snyman, 19 Ruan Steenkamp, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Dries Swanepoel