Currie Cup

Bulls wary of Griquas

2014-10-10 15:07
Frans Ludeke (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - With one foot in the Currie Cup semi-finals, the Blue Bulls will have to dispose of a Griquas side fighting for a place in the top six when they clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

Both teams are experiencing a revival and, with much at stake, the match promises to be a nail-biter.

A victory would guarantee the Bulls a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2012 and could see them challenge for the title which they last won in 2009.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said the Peacock Blues would be anything but a pushover and would be buoyed by their 45-25 victory over the EP Kings last weekend.

"Looking at them and how they played throughout the season, they are a very competitive side. They had a very good win over the Kings last weekend," Ludeke said.

"From broken field they were very strong last week. They have a strong maul and a competitive pack of forwards. It will be a physical battle on the weekend but we know it will be more than that."

The Bulls had experienced a rather indifferent season, starting their campaign with two major defeats.

They had since improved exponentially turning in possibly their best performance against the Pumas over the weekend.

Ludeke believed the performance against the Mpumalanga side was a sign that his charges were peaking at the right time.

Nevertheless, he said it would require accuracy and another clinical performance to book their place in the playoffs.

"You need a smart plan for 80 minutes to work that momentum and get that go-forward ball," he said.

"We are prepared for a huge battle on the gainline and also at set-pieces."

Griquas in turn needed a victory to enhance their chances of moving away from the bottom of the log and avoid the Currie Cup qualifying playoffs next season.

The Peacock Blues, however, had suffered crucial injury setbacks forcing coach Hawies Fourie to select players out of position.

Fourie remained steadfast despite the injuries and hoped his charges could pull off a victory.

"We still want to finish in the top six and we need to put in a winning performance against the Blue Bulls if we want to achieve that," Fourie said.

"It is going to be difficult, but now even more so in light of the many injuries. Hopefully we can produce some magic come Saturday."

While Griquas were having selection issues, the Bulls welcomed back Springbok prop Marcel van der Merwe into the starting line-up. Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard will feature off the bench.

Kick-off for Saturday's clash is scheduled for 19:10.


Blue Bulls:

15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann (captain), 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Morné Mellett

Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Wiaan Liebenberg, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Handre Pollard, 22 Jesse Kriel


15 Jacquin Jansen, 14 Danie Dames, 13 PJ Vermeulen, 12 Jonathan Francke, 11 Ederies Arendse, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Jonathan Adendorf, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Hugo Kloppers, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Simon Westraadt

Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Wesley Cloete, 18 RJ Liebenberg , 19 TBA, 20 Rudi van Rooyen, 21 Dean Grant, 22 Doppies la Grange


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