Ruggaworld

Preview: Blue Bulls v Pumas

It is all or nothing for the Blue Bulls and Pumas when they face off this weekend at Loftus in their last round of Currie Cup match before the play-offs.

Both teams will want to go out and secure full points to ensure that they are still in the running for this years Currie Cup and we expect some great matches in all the Currie Cup fixtures this weekend.

Blue Bulls coach Mitchel have said this week it is about progress and growth for them but we know that nothing beat it to be in the reckoning when the Currie Cup trophy is up for grabs. This year it makes it even more excited with the teams so closely match with only the Sharks that have stand really out above the rest.

The Blue Bulls and Pumas will put their best team forward this weekend with the Blue Bulls that have shown so much improvement with their young side this season after a terrible start. They have become a dangerous outfit in the later stages of the competition with their back-line scoring tries from anywhere on the field.

Their biggest problem has been their defense letting through almost as much tries than what they have scored this season and all is still not 100% in their tight-five.

This is the areas where the Pumas will look to challenge the Blue Bulls and will want to make a huge impact with their pack which has given most teams some problems this season.

Both teams have good halfbacks and if it comes down to kicks they do have the boots to kick that vital one’s over.

With more emphasis this season on attack by most teams we can expect that this will be a match where we will see plenty of tries as both team will be gunning for that win and bonus points, more so the Pumas.

Even at Loftus the Blue Bulls will need to pitch up with a Puma team that have upset most teams this season.

Something that caught my eye this last couple of weeks from the Blue Bulls was their conditioning, they look much fitter and they play for 80 minutes so the Pumas will have to bring it all for the full match.

Prediction: This is a great start to the weekend rugby and I do believe the Blue Bulls have the team to beat the Pumas specially their backs, allot will depend on the tight-five and the set pieces but I give this one for the Blue Bulls by 10 points.

Teams:

BULLS: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Burger Odendaal (c), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Tim Agaba, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Jano Venter, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Travis Ismaiel

PUMAS: 15 Gerrit Smit, 14 Selom Gavor, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 Ruwellyn Isbel, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Nardus van der Walt, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jannie Stander, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Khwezi Mona
Replacements: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Reynier van Rooyen, 22 Gerrie Labuschagne

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