Bulls, Lions have dif­fer­ent goals for Su­per 14 warm-up

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - WIM VAN DER BERG

IT WILL be two teams with to­tally dif­fer­ent ob­jec­tives that take the field in the main warm-up match at Polok­wane tonight when the Bulls and the Lions get their Su­per 14 sea­sons un­der way.

While the Bulls will con­cen­trate on get­ting their struc­tures and teamwork in place, the run-out for the Lions will be more of a stock­tak­ing ex­er­cise for coach­ing di­rec­tor Dick Muir and the Lions’ coaches.

Both sides will also have the ob­vi­ous pres­sure to per­form, but the Bulls will look to re­tain their ti­tle this sea­son while the Lions are out to im­prove on last year’s poor cam­paign.

The Lions have set re­al­is­tic tar­gets for 2010. Muir says they sim­ply want to im­prove on a weekly ba­sis, and he was very care­ful to em­pha­sise that they were aim­ing at a grad­ual im­prove­ment.

“We’ve set cer­tain goals, and we do have a tar­get in mind,” said Muir. “It’s a process and we want to im­prove ev­ery week and we want to re­fine the side.”

While Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has picked his strong­est avail­able team for the main game, and his sec­ond stringers for the ear­lier match, Muir has di­vided his best play­ers in two sep­a­rate teams of vir­tu­ally equal strength.

The Lions’ new di­rec­tor of coach­ing views it solely as a trial game and it’s a make or break op­por­tu­nity for a num­ber of play­ers to re­main in his plans.

It’s im­pos­si­ble to list what Muir and com­pany will be looking at, and a real glimpse of their side will prob­a­bly only be avail­able when they se­lect for the warm-up against the Pu­mas next week.

On the Bulls side, there will be spe­cial in­ter­est to see how re­turnees Gary Botha (from Lon­don Har­lequins) and Jac­ques-Louis Pot­gi­eter (from the Chee­tahs) per­form.

In both in­stances, po­si­tions other than their own will be un­der scru­tiny.

In the case of Botha, his re­turn sees Der­ick Kuün re­vert to flank, where he was one of the best be­fore his switch to the mid­dle of the scrum. Whether or not Botha will im­prove one of the Bulls’ weak­nesses last year, the scrum, will be of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est – even at this early stage.

Fly­half Pot­gi­eter will fill in at in­side cen­tre with Wy­nand Olivier still not avail­able – and will con­ceiv­ably be used there reg­u­larly dur­ing the sea­son. – Sapa

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