Bulls will rely on traditional tactics to beat Hurricanes
The return to fitness of flanker Deon Stegmann, fullback Jürgen Visser and midfielder Wynand Olivier prompted Bulls coach Frans Ludeke to make three changes to his side for their clash against the Hurricanes at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Botha moves to the bench, where he will find two new faces. Frik Kirsten is back from his elbow strain and replaces Hencus van Wyk and Grant Hattingh’s broken thumb has healed. He will take Wilhelm Steenkamp’s place on the bench.
Kirsten only missed last weekend’s action, but Hattingh last played for the Bulls against the Reds in Brisbane.
Olivier has recovered from a knee injury sustained against the Crusaders during the Australasian tour and will replace Jan Serfontein, who has a niggle and will be rested.
Jürgen Visser was a late withdrawal from the Bulls side to beat the Waratahs last weekend and was replaced by Ulrich Beyers. He has now being declared fit and will start at fullback in place of Beyers.
Coach Frans Ludeke was looking for a solid performance ahead of the team’s bye next week.
“We are in control of our own destiny at this stage and that is exactly where we want to be. This means that we are doing some things right, but we all realise that we are also not accurate enough in other phases.”
Ludeke was happy with the work done this week in the set-pieces and acknowledge this as an area where they traditionally attacked the Hurricanes.
“They are a very dangerous side when there is broken field and open play, so we need to make sure we dominate territory and possession and win the gain line battle.”
Vodacom Bulls captain Pierre Spies said that their defence will hold the key.
“We will have to be strong in defence. We leaked some unnecessary tries last weekend and we are not happy about that. The Hurricanes are known for their fantastic attack, so we need a very disciplined and determined approach on defence.”
The Vodacom Bulls team (with number of Super Rugby caps) is: Jürgen Visser (5), Akona Ndungane (89), JJ Engelbrecht (25), Wynand Olivier (107), Bjorn Basson (47), Mornè Steyn (115), Jano Vermaak (97), Pierre Spies (98, c), Dewald Potgieter (59), Deon Stegmann (67), Juandrè Kruger (26), Flip van der Merwe (56), Werner Kruger (84), Chiliboy Ralepelle (61), Dean Greyling (32). REPLACEMENTS: Willie Wepener (60), Frik Kirsten (23), Grant Hattingh (14), Arno Botha (18), Francois Hougaard (49), Louis Fouchè (18), Lionel Mapoe (36).