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
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 1 1 0 0 5
Pumas 1 1 0 0 5
Blue Bulls 1 1 0 0 5
Griquas 1 0 0 1 2
Golden Lions 1 0 0 1 2
Sharks 1 0 0 1 0
Western Province 0 0 0 0 0