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

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Scarlets v Bath 18h45 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 21 October 2017
Australia v New Zealand 09h00 Brisbane
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 12h00 Scotstoun
Sharks v Blue Bulls 12h30 Durban
Treviso v Toulon 14h15 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Western Province v Golden Lions 15h00 Cape Town
Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
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Munster v Racing Metro 16h30 Thomond Park
Saracens v Ospreys 18h45 Allianz Park
Sun, 22 October 2017
Montpellier v Exeter Chiefs 12h00 Altrad Stadium
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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