Pote wants Bulls to show hunger

    2019-02-07 20:48

    Brendan Nel -

    Pretoria - Bulls coach Pote Human named as close to his strongest possible starting lineup as possible for this Saturday’s pre-season outing against the Sharks in Ballito, laying down the gauntlet for the game to be a final chance for players to impress him.

    Human was relatively happy despite the #SuperheroSunday loss to the Stormers last weekend, knowing the team gave away three easy tries and were 21-0 down despite having all the play in the opening salvos.

    But now that the first game is a week away, he wants his charges to be “hungry” and show they want to play this year for the Bulls, and Ballito is a starting point for him.

    “Yes I think so, there are still a few guys who must show me they want to play Super Rugby this year, and we will see on Saturday. We will give the guys another opportunity on Saturday and they must use it,” Human said.

    Asked which players he was referring to, Human smiled.

    “At this stage all of them,” he laughed, “No at this stage I want them to be hungry and I need to see that on Saturday against the Sharks because it won’t be easy, I know. Everyone knows the Stormers B team beat us last week and we will need to be up for it next week. I want to see the guys – they must show me they want to play for the Bulls.”

    Human named Springbok Jason Jenkins in his first start to partner Lood de Jager in a combination that will likely feature against the Stormers next week. The wingers are the ex-Springbok Sevens duo of Cornal Hendricks and Rosko Specman, with another former Sevens star – Dylan Sage – who was named Sevens player of the year on Thursday in the midfield.

    “I think he is an excellent ball player so we are giving him (Sage) an opportunity there. Burger can’t play this weekend so we are giving him an opportunity. That’s why we are giving him a go, and also JT Jackson, who had a good game against the Lions two weeks ago, we’re giving him another opportunity to have a go in the second half.”

    In all the Bulls will field 10 Springboks, with another Sevens Bok in Tim Agaba on the bench.

    Human said he wants a more polished performance this weekend.

    “We reviewed the game afterwards and we feel we played really well, but we gave away really easy, soft tries to them. Still, the penalty count was too high for me and it is unacceptable and we must kick on, be consistent and be better on Saturday.

    “I think it is rustiness. Most of the guys only played their first game in a while, but we sorted that out and I’m looking forward to Saturday,” he added.

    The match will also see a first sight in the new season of Hanro Liebenberg and Andre Warner, with both returning from their loan spell in France.

    Liebenberg and Warner will play off the bench in a team that showed numerous changes from the one that played in Cape Town last weekend.

    Only Warrick Gelant, Jesse Kriel, Handre Pollard, Duane Vermeulen, De Jager and the front row of Trevor Nyakane, Schalk Britz and Lizo Gqoboka will be in the starting team again.

    The match takes place at Ashton College in Ballito on Saturday, February 9. Kickoff is at 14h00.

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