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

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
Fri, 02 September 2016
Boland v Pumas 13h00 Wellington
Blue Bulls v Golden Lions 17h00 Pretoria
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Pumas v Griquas 35 | 41
Golden Lions v Boland 60 | 12
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 3 3 0 0 15
Free State Cheetahs 3 3 0 0 14
Golden Lions 3 2 0 1 12
Blue Bulls 3 2 0 1 10
Griquas 3 2 0 1 9
Boland 4 1 0 3 5
Pumas 3 0 0 3 3
Western Province 2 0 0 2 2
EP Kings 2 0 0 2 1