Currie Cup

Bulls eager to get backline going

2015-09-25 07:16
Lappies Labuschagne (Gallo Images)

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 playoff berth.

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 shackles.”

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 20:00.



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 April

Blue Bulls:

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


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