Home Vodacom Blue Bulls Blue Bulls unchanged for important clash with Pumas

Blue Bulls unchanged for important clash with Pumas


Rugby and head coach of the Vodacom Blue Bulls, John Mitchell, named an unchanged starting team to face Steval Pumas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday in the home side’s last Currie Cup league fixture of the season.

Mitchell only made one forced change amongst the reserves from the squad that travelled to Bloemfontein last weekend, with Ulrich Beyers being replaced by Travis Ismaiel. Beyers were concussed in the win over the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and unavailable for this weekend, while Ismaiel makes a timely return from injury.

“We are slowly but surely getting into some sort of rhythm in our play and consistency in selection, things that are important if you want to make it into the play-offs,” Mitchell said. “We are still in with a chance to make it into the final four and owe it to ourselves and our supporters out there to give it a full go.”

A number of permutations are in play in the final round of regulation play, with five of the seven teams fighting it out for the three remaining spot, including the Steval Pumas.

“They are still in contention to make it into the semis and also have everything to play for. This will make for a very competitive match,” said Mitchell of Friday night’s clash.

Vodacom Blue Bulls captain, Burger Odendaal, agrees. “They gave us a good hiding when we played them earlier in the season, but that was the start of the turn-around for us. We are confident that we are progressing into a competitive squad and that we can put together the performance needed to stay in the competition. It will be nice if we can have a decent crowd to spur us on as well,” Odendaal said.

 The team is: Warrick Gelant, Duncan Matthews, Burger Odendaal (c), JT Jackson, Johnny Kotze, Marnitz Boshoff, Ivan van Zyl, Nic de Jager, Tim Agaba, Marco van Staden, Aston Fortuin, Ruben van Heerden, Conraad van Vuuren, Edgar Marutlulle, Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: Johan Grobbelaar, Matthys Basson, Jano Venter, Boom Prinsloo, Piet van Zyl, Tony Jantjies, Travis Ismaiel

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  1. Burger Odendaal is still someone not to discount from higher honours along with Vorster.

    Wonder how long it is before the pollies start breaking Mitchells balls about having the least POCs in the CC in his 22?

  2. @Americano:

    Under-achievers considering they have the best centres in RSA. The Grey Bloem combo of Dries/Serfontein should never have been broken up… plus Odendaal and the huge JT Jackson. Mitchell really has no excuse.

    Piet Van Zyl who was a shining light at half-back last year for the Bok A side in both their games not to mention against the Barbarians… then simply discarded by the `brains trust`.

    And then there are the two injured superstars (well I think Smit is injured). Hanro Liebenberg (injuries aside) at 22 is the youngest Bulls captain of all time, is very much in the mould of a Juan Smith/Joe VN and would push Kieren REad for his position when back to form. Roelof Smit on the other hand after Kriel is the next best true open-sider, another discarded after his one Barbarians blinder.

    Even their locks in RG Snyman and the young wrecking ball Jason Jenkins are class with Lood off the bench. And their back three with the choice of Gelant, Ismail, Kriel, Kotze (plus a few others) run deep with depth.

    Their only current problem is their sub par hookers but other than that their are no excuses for next year as this young side wipes off the cob-webs of 2017.

  3. I was heartened to see the performance of Lood deJagr last game. He has been pretty invisible for a LONG time & I think it was vs Argentina where I saw he was wearing a freakin wedding ring during the game & I was like that’s it he’s donezo, irretrievably softy after that – but he showed up last week so whaddaya know?

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