Flu bug flattens two Bulls

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 11:43
Large jan serfontein sa u20 630 Large frik kirsten charges 630 Large pine pienaar chats 630

After a week of a freak bout of flu that struck down almost the entire Blue Bulls team, two players have been ruled out of the encounter with the Sharks.

After a week of a freak bout of flu that struck down almost the entire Blue Bulls team, the Pretoria-based side will have to get out of bed for a battle against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The side was severely disrupted this week with 11 players missing training which effectively left the team unable to train for most of the build-up to the weekend.

The team only had one session before the match which left them uncharacteristically unprepared for the match.

It was confirmed that Jan Serfontein and Frik Kirsten will not feature off the bench on Saturday.

Both had to withdraw due to flu.

Serfontein will be replaced by Ulrich Beyers.

Rossouw de Klerk, who replaces Kirsten, will make his first appearance for the Blue Bulls this season should he come off the bench.

Bulls coach Pine Pienaar said on Friday that he was hopeful that the players would be 100 percent by Saturday.

However, there will be little sympathy for the young Bulls side, especially after last weekend's loss to the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Despite losing most of their star players to the Springbok cause in the Rugby Championship they have won their opening two matches of this year's competition.

An already depleted Sharks side was further unsettled when hooker Craig Burden was called into the Springbok camp for the national side's Test in Argentina on Saturday.

Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter said while the flu-bug was disruptive to their preparations, they could not offer it as an excuse.

"Unfortunately we were looking forward to a great week of preparation, but we came together as a team a week before our first game against Griquas and we had a good game," Potgieter said.

"So it will be important for us to focus on what we have to do. They are a good team and we know what to expect from them."

While it is still early in the competition there is not much separating the sides after two rounds.

The Blue Bulls will know full well that they could not afford to let it slip against the early pace setters in Pretoria.

"They may not have the same players, but the physical onslaught from them will be the same," he said.

"This is a very important game to get back on track and get back to the top-end of the log."

Blue Bulls mentor Pine Pienaar this week said his young team had learnt valuable lessons from last week's loss to the Cheetahs.

He said the team's discipline and the number of turnovers they conceded cost them dearly against the Bloemfontein side.

Blue Bulls - revised: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Clayton Blommetjies, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 7 CJ Stander, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Rudi Paige, 21 Lionel Cronjé, 22 Ulrich Beyers.

Date: Saturday, August 25
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee

Additional reporting by SAPA

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Thu, 18 February 2016
Fort Hare v Wits 16h30 East London
TUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Pretoria
Fri, 19 February 2016
Zebre v Leinster 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Sat, 20 February 2016
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Gloucester 15h00 Allianz Park
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8