Two packs is the way to go for Bulls
BULLS coach Pote Human believes the best way to take on the Sharks is in the forwards and he has filled his team with the heavy men for their Super Rugby opener in Durban tomorrow.
Besides picking a big, powerful starting pack, Human has also opted to go with six forwards on his bench – a tactic used so successfully by the Springboks during last year’s World Cup in Japan.
The Bulls coach’s plans for the match are pretty clear.
“It’s going to be humid, and the ball’s going to be wet. I think there will probably be a lot of scrums and that’s why we believe having two packs is the way to go.
“It’s going to be a forward battle, one I’m looking forward to,” said Human.
Recent signings, Juandre Kruger and Josh Strauss, have been picked in the starting team having arrived at the Bulls from overseas late last year, while fit-again Trevor Nyakane will provide impact from off the bench.
Human has also opted to go into this game with veteran No 10 Morne Steyn in the starting team, with the exciting Manie Libbok playing off the bench.
“Morne’s got so much experience, having played here at the Bulls for so long, as well as for the Boks. He’s fit and keen to play and is certainly not here for a holiday. He wants to show his worth,” the Bulls coach said.
Strauss, who previously played for the Lions and also ran out for Scotland, will combine with the exciting Jeandre Rudolph and Abongile Nonkontwana in the loose trio. “I’ve known both Jeandre and Abongile for many years,” said Human. It’s an experienced Bulls team, with plenty of seasoned operators in the starting team. At the back, fullback Warrick Gelant will be brimming with confidence following the Springboks’ World Cup victory in November, while wings Cornal Hendricks and Rosko Specman, as well as centres Johnny Kotze and captain
Burger Odendaal all have aspirations of playing for the Boks.
And, up front, loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka will be keen to follow up his excellent 2019 campaign with another quality offering this year and he gets a chance to lay down a marker as early as the first game, going up against Thomas du Toit.
Bulls: Warrick Gelant, Cornal Hendricks,
Johnny Kotze, Burger Odendaal (capt), Rosko Specman, Morne Steyn, Ivan van Zyl, Josh Strauss, Abongile Nonkontwana, Jeandre Rudolph, Juandre Kruger, Andries Ferreira, Wiehahn Herbst, Jaco Visagie,
Lizo Gqoboka. Replacements: Johan Grobbelaar, Simphiwe Matanzima, Trevor Nyakane, Ruan Nortje, Ryno Pieterse, Wian Vosloo, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok
MORNE Steyn will start at No 10 against the Sharks tomorrow.