Ludeke: Massive game for Bulls
Cape Town - Bulls coach Frans Ludeke
says Saturday's clash against the Kings will be "massive" as they try to win an eighth Super Rugby game on the trot.
The South African conference leaders have been hard hit by injuries, which will test their depth, but it is almost three months since they last lost.
The Bulls' last defeat was on tour against the Brumbies on March 30. It was the last encounter of a three-match losing streak in Australasia and now, with the playoffs in sight, they are eying a home semi-final.
But despite their good recent record, and with the visitors themselves under pressure because of the non-availability of a number of injured players, Ludeke nevertheless emphasised the importance of the match.
“It’s good to have a few of our front-line players back as we head into the business end of the competition, especially since we’ve lost a few players to injury,” he told the Bulls website
“This is a massive game for us - each game in Super Rugby is - but we’ve set our goals for the season and now is the time to make sure we achieve them. The Kings will not be an easy opponent, as there is no such thing in this competition.
“We simply need to ensure we stick to what has been working for us thus far this year and the guys who are getting opportunities need to put their hands up on Saturday.”
Both teams lost their captains this week, with the Bulls losing Pierre Spies
(bicep) for the season and the Kings’ Luke Watson
sidelined for six months with an ankle injury.Dewald Potgieter
(Bulls) and Andries Strauss (Kings) will lead their teams out at Loftus Versfeld. (17:05 kick-off).
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Jan Serfontein
, 12 Wynand Olivier
, 11 Bjorn Basson
, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard
, 8 Dewald Potgieter
(captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger
, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle
, 1 Dean Greyling.
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Juandré Kruger, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 JJ Engelbrecht
15 SP Marais, 14 Michael Killian, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Demetri Catrakilis
, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku
, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Grant Kemp, 17 Hannes Franklin, 18. Rynier Bernardo, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Shane Gates