Big challenge for Bulls' Boks

Thu, 10 Oct 2013 07:47
Large jj engelbrecht bulls traini Large jan serfontein bulls traini Large handre pollard bulls traini Large jjengelbrechtboktraining Large jan serfontein interviewed Large handre pollard bulls kicks

The Blue Bulls' highly rated all-Springbok midfield combination will have to deal with the added weight of expectation this week.

The Blue Bulls' highly rated all-Springbok midfield combination will have to deal with the added weight of expectation this week.

JJ Engelbrecht and Jan Serfontein may come with big reputations, but that will mean nothing when the Bulls go up against the Free State Cheetahs in a decisive Currie Cup Round 10 encounter in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Bulls must win, collect a four-try bonus point and deny the Cheetahs a bonus point of any sorts if they are to sneak past the Free Staters into the play-offs.

And the inclusion of the Bok duo, Engelbrecht and Serfontein, ahead of the settled combination of Francois Venter and William Small-Smith in midfield means the spotlight will be on the international players.

Bulls coach Pine Pienaar admitted that while the return of their Boks is a point of debate for any team, the precarious position his team find themselves in adds extra pressure on the Pretoria outfit's returning Boks.

"In our situation we are unfortunate with [Bok lock] Flip [van der Merwe] being ruled out [with a knee injury]," Pienaar told this website.

"JJ [Engelbrecht] and Jan [Serfontein] come into the team in midfield," he said, adding: "I feel sorry for players like Francois Venter and William Small-Smith, as they have started to combine well.

"JJ and Jan return from Bok duty and this weekend they have to go show why they are Springboks.

"I am very glad to have them back, but all the Boks have a big responsibility for the success of their respective teams."

The additional challenge is that the Bulls have had very little time to reintegrate their two international stars.

"It is a tough position we are in, so from the get go we have to find our rhythm and that is our big challenge," Pienaar told this website.

"Apart from the result [a win] we need to get, the tries [at least four] we have to score and the points difference [beat the Cheetahs by at least 12] that we must get, the biggest challenge will be to find our rhythm as a team as quickly as possible.

"Jan [Serfontein] will play alongside [flyhalf Handré] Pollard, and they had a few games together for South African Under-20 last year.

"We also made a few changes to the loose forwards [Jacques Engelbrecht at No.8 and Jono Ross moved to flank], so it is vital that they gel together as soon as possible and ensure we get off to a good start."

By Jan de Koning

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