Selection shake-up for battling Bulls

Wed, 25 Sep 2013 11:38
Large handre pollard  bulls train Large pine pienaar630 Large pine pienaar training 630

Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar, in a desperate bid to salvage something from a disastrous season, has made six changes to his starting line-up.

Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar, in a desperate bid to salvage something from a disastrous season, has made six changes to his starting line-up.

The recall of a fit-again Handré Pollard, along with first starts for William Small-Smith and David Bullbring, and returns for Sampie Mastriet and Marcel van der Merwe highlight the Bulls team selection ahead of their must-win Currie Cup clash against Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.

Jurgen Visser also returns at fullback and Clayton Blommetjies drops down to the bench.

Pollard missed last week's clash against the Golden Lions due to an ankle injury and comes in for Tony Jantjies.

Mastriet made way for Springbok Bjorn Basson's cameo appearance for the team and reclaims his place.

Van der Merwe replaces injured Morné Mellett as loosehead prop.

Small-Smith and Bullbring have not started a Currie Cup match for the Blue Bulls.

The outside centre, Small-Smith, swaps places with Ulrich Beyers, who move to the bench.

Bullbring comes in for Wilhelm Steenkamp at lock, with the latter dropping out of the match 22 altogether.

A fit-again Bongi Mbonambi has also been recalled and will play off the bench, with Jaco Visagie returning to the Under-21 side.

According to Pienaar, the team has been selected with a specific plan in mind.

"I think it is fair to say that we will try and play in a particular way and for that, we will need a very strong contribution from our bench," Pienaar said.

"All 22 will have to contribute if we want to beat Griquas in Kimberley.

"They are a very dangerous side at home and came so close in a number of their matches.

"This really will be our toughest challenge of the season, given our log position and the number of matches left."

Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Akona Ndungane, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudi Paige, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten/Dean Greyling, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Ulrich Beyers, 22 Clayton Blommetjies.

Date: Saturday, September 28
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Lesego Legoete, Francois de Bruin
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee

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Team P W D L Pts
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Griquas 12 4 0 8 26