Bulls look to reinforcements for seven-day cram

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 09:55

CURRIE CUP SPOTLIGHT: The Blue Bulls are hoping that some 'reinforcements' - returning from injury - will help bolster the team in the next week.

In what is clearly a poorly though-out  roster there are three rounds of fixtures in eight days - with the Bulls playing three rounds in seven days.

The Bulls do battle with the Golden Lions in a Round Three match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday. Four days later (August 9) they play the Sharks at Loftus. They complete their seven-day cram when they travel to Cape Town to take on arch-rivals Western Province at Newlands on August 12.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais said he expects some key players - who have been sidelined with injury for the past few months - to return for some of next week's matches.

"[After Saturday] we will look to see who we going to start against the Sharks," Marais told a media briefing at Loftus Versfeld.

"We did not select Jamba Ulengo, who has just come back from injury, [against the Lions]. He has trained this whole week and will be an option to play against the Sharks. The same applies to Andries Swanepoel.

"Johnny Kotze is back as well, so they trained this week and then on Monday we are going to make a decision whether we are going to select them or not," Marais added.

The last time the Blue Bulls and the Golden Lions did battle in a Currie Cup clash was during the 2016 round robin phase.

In that match the Bulls outscored the Lions by three tries to two, en route to a 31-17 victory in Pretoria.

Looking ahead to the game on Saturday, Marais added that both teams have different squads to the ones which featured in the 2016 Currie Cup tournament and history and past results will count for nothing on Saturday.

"It's two [very] different squads," he said.

"In the first two round we have 13 guys making their Currie Cup debuts, which is a vastly different to last year. We are playing with a lot of youngsters and they will also play with a lot of youngsters - because their [first choice] players are playing [in the] Super Rugby [Final]."

The Bulls currently sit in third place on the Currie Cup table, with five points from one match - a 51-45 victory over the Griquas in Kimberley.

The Lions head into this clash sitting in second position on the table, with seven points from two matches played - one win and a defeat.

By Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26