Hu­man back­ing his young guns to fire again

Pretoria News - - SPORT - SIBU­SISO MJIKELISO sibu­[email protected]

POTE Hu­man gave his young play­ers the big­gest pat on the back pos­si­ble when he kept faith with them for an­other game week, this time against the Reds in Bris­bane.

His de­ci­sion to stick with the half­back com­bi­na­tion of Em­brose Pa­pier and Manie Lib­bok might have been in­flu­enced by the 38-13 re­sult over the High­landers but Hu­man has dis­played a level of trust in the duo. The coach lim­ited his changes to the side that will face the Reds on Satur­day to just the mid­field, where Burger Oden­daal re­turns to in­side cen­tre, Johnny Kotze moves to out­side cen­tre and Nafi Tuitavake drops out com­pletely.

It will serve the Bulls well if Hu­man sticks with his youth first pol­icy, not only for the next com­ing matches but also for the fu­ture of the fran­chise.

Pa­pier and Lib­bok have a cer­tain TJ Per­e­nara-Beauden Bar­rett (when he was still a Hur­ri­canes player) feel to them. They read each other’s move­ments bet­ter than, say, Pa­pier and vet­eran Morne Steyn.

Both are wired to look for spa­ces in de­fences and re­sort to the boot only when there are lim­ited run­ning op­tions, not the other way around, as is of­ten the case with Steyn.

For one, Pa­pier made the first ma­jor line-break of the match last week­end against the High­landers, which, although the Bulls couldn’t cap it off with a try, set an en­ter­pris­ing tone for the rest of the match.

Brad Thorn’s much-im­proved and coura­geous Reds side has the kahu­nas to match any­thing the Bulls pack does in Bris­bane. It will there­fore be in­cum­bent on Pa­pier and Lib­bok’s space ex­ploita­tion to break some of the shack­les, with full­back War­rick Ge­lant link­ing them with the back three.

Every­thing they did against the

High­landers at Lof­tus last time out ex­uded the ex­u­ber­ance of youth. Even in the pack – where they were evis­cer­ated in the trans­fer mar­ket last sea­son, los­ing world-class play­ers such as Lood de Jager, RG Sny­man, and Duane Ver­meulen – the three new­com­ers Muller Uys, Ruan Nortje and Ian Groe­newald played with hunger and de­sire. Bulls team: War­rick Ge­lant, Cor­nal Hen­dricks, Johnny Kotze, Burger Oden­daal (C), Rosko Spec­man, Manie Lib­bok, Em­brose Pa­pier, Muller Uys, Josh

Strauss, Marco van Staden, Ruan Nortje, Ian Groe­newald, Trevor Nyakane (C), Jaco Vis­agie, Lizo Gqoboka.

Re­place­ments: Corniel Els, Ger­hard Steenekamp, Wiehahn Herbst, Ryno Pi­eterse, Ruan Steenkamp, Ivan van Zyl, Morne Steyn, Di­van Ros­souw.

| MUZI NTOMBELA Back­pagePix

BURGER Oden­daal re­turns at in­side cen­tre this week­end.

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