Serfontein to face Cheetahs

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:17
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The Bulls team to play the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday has been bolstered by the return of two seasoned Springboks.

The Bulls team to play the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday has been bolstered by the return of two seasoned Springboks, Akona Ndungane and Flip van der Merwe.

Ndungane has recovered from the eye socket injury sustained against the Crusaders four weeks ago and will start in his 87th Super Rugby match for the three time champions.

Van der Merwe, who picked up a chest muscle injury in the same Christchurch clash, will appear in his 53rd Super match, with six of those in Cheetahs colours earlier in his career.

They replace Jürgen Visser and Paul Willemse respectively, with Visser taking over at fullback from injured Zane Kirchner and Willemse moving to the bench.

The other noteworthy selection is the decision to keep former Grey College star Jan Serfontein at inside centre - with the new Springbok training squad member set to go head-to-head with Robert Ebersohn, who was also called up to the national squad for the first time this week.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, who has eased Serfontein slowly into the senior ranks after his Player of the Tournament performance at the IRB Junior Championship last year, said the young midfielder always knew he would get his opportunities.

"They are all learning from a seasoned player like Wynand [Olivier]," Ludeke told this website.

"We have Francois Venter and Jan [Serfontein] there, who are both very good centres.

"We have a responsibility to ensure we bring the players through and give them the opportunities - they have the qualities to play at Super Rugby level and make a difference.

"Francois and Jan proved themselves in the game they featured in - they showed they can make a difference and a big impact for us at that level."

Ludeke also made a tactical switch from the side that suffered a last gasp defeat against the Brumbies two weeks ago, with Frik Kirsten starting at tight head and veteran prop Werner Kruger playing off the bench.

"We are happy with the squad rotation and with a couple of stalwarts still out injured, has given some of our youngsters good opportunities to play," Ludeke said.

"We feel that we left some points on the road, but now have a good stretch back home where we play ourselves back into those important play-off positions," the coach added.

"The rest did wonders to all and I am pleased with the way we prepared for this one."

The match could also see a first Bulls appearance for scrumhalf Rudi Paige and utility back Ulrich Beyers, while Lions loan player Callie Visagie has been drafted in to give hooker Willie Wepener a rest.

With Francois Hougaard still nursing an ankle injury, Paige will back-up  Jano Vermaak and Beyers will replace a sore Francois Venter as a backs replacement.

Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Morné Mellet.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Paul Willemse, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Rudi Paige, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Ulrich Beyers.

Date: Saturday, April 13
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10