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
Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 9 9 0 0 43
Blue Bulls 9 7 0 2 34
Western Province 9 6 0 3 30
Free State Cheetahs 9 3 1 5 21
Sharks 9 4 0 5 19
Pumas 9 3 1 5 16
EP Kings 9 2 0 7 12
Griquas 9 1 0 8 8