Chiefs to test Bulls at breakdowns

    2015-05-20 16:37

    Ockert de Villiers - Sport24

    Johannesburg - The Bulls have identified the breakdown as a key area in their Super Rugby clash against the Chiefs in Rotorua on Friday (kick-off 09:35 SA time).

    The Pretoria side’s defeat in their tour opener against the Blues last weekend has dealt their playoff hopes a serious blow and they are under pressure to beat a dangerous Chiefs side.

    The Bulls will be looking to reverse an eight match losing stroke abroad and their first away victory over the Chiefs since 2010 to blow some life into their campaign.

    Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made adjustments to his loose trio with Arno Botha and Lappies Labuschagne moving to the bench to make way for Jacques du Plessis and Deon Stegmann respectively.

    While the Bulls were competitive at the breakdowns against the Blues, they will have to be accurate in this area of play against the Chiefs.

    Bulls captain Pierre Spies said the Blues match was a good dress rehearsal of what to expect from the Chiefs, particularly at ruck time.

    “I just felt our execution wasn’t there against the Blues which was quite disappointing but we’ve learnt a lot of from that game,” Spies said.

    “The New Zealand teams all have a similar approach at the breakdown and on defence so we’ve done our preparations for that.”

    In their midst, the Chiefs have one of the top breakdown specialists in Sam Cane, who has made the third most turnovers this season.

    Bulls will call on Stegmann's ball scavenger abilities to either slow down the Chiefs ball or ensure his side some quality possession at the rucks.

    Spies said while his side was disappointed about starting their tour off with a defeat they needed to be accurate in all facets of the game to go away with a win.

    “We would have liked to win the game against the Blues but in the tournament that we are playing in you have to be spot on every week,” he said.

    “We will have to be up for the challenge against the Chiefs this week as both teams are looking for a victory.”

    The Bulls’ scrum was exceptional against the Blues and Ludeke hoped this set-piece would allow them a solid attacking platform on Friday.

    “That (the scrums) is one area where we made a huge step forward, we were very competitive there on their ball and on our own,” Ludeke said.

    “We created a lot of pressure there and we would like to continue with that, and obviously looking at Chiefs they applied huge pressure in the scrums against the Hurricanes before they had the lock injury.”



    15 Tom Marshall, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Bryce Heem, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Johan Bardoul, 4 Michael Fitzgerald/Ross Filipo, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Mitchell Graham

    Substitutes: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Pauliasi Manu, 19 Brian Alainu'uese, 20 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Tim Nanai-Williams


    15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van de Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Trevor Nyakane

    Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Lappies Labuschagne, 21 Burger Odendaal, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23 Travis Ismaiel

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