It is Willie the wizard against the brassbound Bulls.

While the Cheetahs are continuing to give Springbok Willie le Roux all the freedom he needs to weave his magic, Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made it clear his team will continue to rely in their rigid approach to get them across the line.

Both teams are desperate to get back in the Super Rugby race, after opening round defeats.

However, the Cheetahs appear to have a more solid base at this early stage of the season.

While their magician, Le Roux, produced a mixed bag in the one-point loss against the Lions last week, Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské saw enough to allow him the same freedom.

“In the past the decision-making and execution of Willie [le Roux] was always spot on,” Drotské said about his star fullback.

“To now, after just one game, tell him he is not allowed to play off-the-cuff would be stupid.”

The Cheetahs coach said execution cost his team, who failed to hold onto the ball long enough well enough to capitalise on the opportunities they created.

The Bulls, who suffered a setback when regular captain Pierre Spies withdrew as a result of an elbow injury, also feel there is nothing wrong with their approach.

Coach Frans Ludeke said their downfall (a 16-31 loss to the Sharks in Durban) was the result of poor execution of the game plan, not the much-talked about kicking.

“We all admitted that it was a poor show [in Durban],” Ludeke said.

“We have already put that behind us and will be in a positive frame of mind as we head into the encounter with the Cheetahs,” Ludeke said.

“We still have complete confidence in each other and the type of game we want to play.

“We know that it [the game plan] can only work if it is executed with enthusiasm.”

Recent results:
2013: Bulls won 30-25, Bloemfontein
2013: Bulls won 26-20, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 40-24, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 51-19, Bloemfontein
2011: Bulls won 32-21, Pretoria
2011: Bulls won 25-23, Bloemfontein


Cheetahs: 15 Willem le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Rynhardt Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Hennie Daniller.

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Wiaan Liebenberg, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)


  1. Stage is set…
    In “The Vatican of SA Rugby”….Cheetah Field.
    Candles lit. Incense billowing. Is that gregorian chant I hear or the harleys on the field?
    No matter the time has come for the Matador of Blomfentein – Messerschmitt-Willie LeRoux to finish off this sickly Bull & bask in the glory of cheers from the khaki-clad crowd.

    Let’s get it on…..

  2. I hope to see the Cheetahs play the same game as last week but show a bit more respect for the ball on attack. Its an atrocity that a Cheetahs team last week got so much ball and so much good ball yet hardly penetrated.

    Willie especially guilty in the first half. Venter to have a big game.

  3. CG,
    Let’s keep it upbeat. The past is buried & gone – I think perhaps that dreary Irish weather has clouded your outlook in a cynical fog.
    Take a cue from fellow Irish guy Van Morrison & stick to the bright side of the road.
    You’ll see me there & I’m wearing shades so fret not.

  4. my friend and avid bulls fan just quipped:

    “in pretoria we dont change game plans. Having changed from apartheid was enough change for us for at least a century”

  5. I actually applaud that stick-to-it-iveness.
    They have been very successful with their “SlobberKnocker” approach. Why deviate after a bump or bumps in the road?
    You guys have KFC over there.
    After a slow year would Colnel Sanders change his secret 11 herbs & spices?
    I think not.

  6. Ja, Fouche struggeling tonight, mabe Pollard on at half time.
    Goosen and Willie combining well in controlling the game so far.

  7. Watched the first four break downs…

    Penalties could and should have been awarded at all four… then saw a penalty awarded against Bulls #6 at for “deliberate infringment” of being pushed off his feet by a Cheetahs cleaner at the fifth and decided fuckit… I can’t watch this shit…

    Wake me when refereeing is back in rugby… I can’t watch this shit being dished up by the IRB as “refereeing”…

    In the meantime I’m watching Olympic curling…

  8. Gary Gold on Sky: Bulls have not changed their gameplan but unfortunately has had to change their personnel.

  9. Its like every coach in SA, including Heyneke, thought in 2009 that this gameplan is the shit and today no matter which players on the park try to replicate that.

    To see a Cheetahs side again not playing well yet beating a bulls side in a tight game in the rain suggests the Bulls need to re-align

  10. The disgrace that teams like the Bulls and Stormers, who between them possess about 70% of all rugby talent in SA, can on any given day lose against a Cheetah or Griqua team.

    And despite what Dawie says – innovation is not really anti-afrikaner either.

    No KZN school ever makes it into the top 5, and very few make it into the top 20, yet as a union they seem to get respectable results higher up. Without judging – what are the honest reasons for this?

  11. and not to be rude, but in 2 years and many SS and boks games I still cannot fathom why JJ is a bok. Average defender, no real kicking game, no wizzard on attack.

    Like Spies, he is just really good looking in a tight shirt.

  12. Brenden’s mind is like a Russian Commissar’s..

    Rich in imgaination

    Paucity of knowldge

    Deaf to learning

    Heady cocktail that results in the spouting of immense amounts of shit…

  13. The fact that certain coastally bound and bred morons bleatingly hold on to his lips prove that Stalin’s useful idiots continue to exist to this day.

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