Currie Cup

Pollard debut excites Pienaar

2013-08-28 18:00
Pine Pienaar (Gallo)

Pretoria - Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar says he looks forward to see what teenage flyhalf Handré Pollard will do in his Currie Cup debut against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Pienaar's hand was forced to present Pollard with the number 10 jersey following an injury to Tony Jantjies.

"He is a massive talent, he will make mistakes, but it is important that you back him and coach him through it," Pienaar said.

"You have to manage him and you have to coach him...he will get a great experience this weekend and I hope he enjoys it."

Pollard had been knocking on the door to be included in the Currie Cup side following two impressive performances for the Blue Bulls Under-21 side.

Pienaar, however, said he was reluctant to throw the 19-year-old into the deep end.

"I want to see, confidence wise, that he (Pollard) takes the next step, it doesn't help to play him immediately after a six-week injury, he had a shoulder injury," the Bulls mentor said.

"I don't want to throw any player to the wolves, it is a tough competition, and I don't want him to lose confidence in himself."

The Bulls suffered two more casualties from last weekend's 62-23 demolition by the Lions, with Francois Venter and Travis Ismaiel unavailable for the Sharks match.

However, they will be replaced by two seasoned campaigners in Waylon Murray and fit-again Akona Ndungane.

Ulrich Beyers will move to inside centre to form a midfield combination with Murray on his outside.

Frik Kirsten replaces Werner Kruger at tighthead after an ankle injury ruled him out of the last two matches.

Recently signed lock David Bullbring will make his debut off the bench after the former Southern Kings player was named ahead of Wilhelm Steenkamp.

Another new face on the bench is flyhalf Tiaan Schoeman.

Pienaar said he was not so much disappointed by the scoreline, but rather by the manner in which his charges performed against the Lions.

"It is very important that we play much better than how we did against the Lions," he said.

"One win or one loss can cost you dearly on the log, but our focus is week for week and our most important game is against the Sharks."

The Bulls coach said they expected a different challenge against the Sharks and he believed his team could bounce back from last weekend's disappointment.

Teams:

Sharks:

TBA

Blue Bulls:

15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Ulrich Beyers, 11 Akona Ndungane, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Morné Mellett

Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 David Bullbring, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tiaan Schoeman, 22 Clayton Blommetjies

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