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    Mitchell: Bulls have a long way to go

    2018-03-08 15:23

    Pretoria - The Bulls, under new coach John Mitchell, have had an up and then down start to Super Rugby 2018. 

    A seriously impressive 21-19 win over the Hurricanes at Loftus in week two was followed by a disappointing 49-35 loss to the Lions at the same venue.

    The task this week sees the Bulls take on the Reds in Brisbane, and with tour fixtures against the Chiefs and Crusaders up next, this might be Mitchell's best chance to get a win over the next three weekends. 

    Mitchell, though, is not getting carried away.

    "We have a long way to go still, but there are good fundamentals in place at this stage of the race," he said.

    "We have not played in Brisbane since 2013, so it will be a new experience for most of the team. That should create some energy, but I have no doubt that the importance of a good start to our tour will also perk up the players.

    "We have done very well in certain areas of the game so far, but the reality is that our away record is poor. This is something we need to change if we want to become the team we want to be."

    Handre Pollard, back in the No 10 jersey this weekend and leading the side, was optimistic, despite the Reds chasing a second win in as many matches.

    "We come into this match well prepared," he said.

    "The coaching staff can only do so much, it is also up to the players to execute and deliver. We have seen glimpses of what we can do; the challenge this week will be to deliver an all-round element to our game. We face a formidable opponent, but believe in who we are and what we can do as a squad."

    Kick-off on Saturday is at 10:45 (SA time).

    Teams:

    Reds

    15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jono Lance, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper (captain)  

    Substitutes: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Sef Fa'agase, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Duncan Paia'aua

    Bulls

    15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Duncan Matthews, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Nick de Jager, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman

    Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Divan Rossouw

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    Friday, 25 May 2018
    • Crusaders v Hurricanes, AMI Stadium 09:35
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