Bulls in need of some Kiwi contact

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 11:07
Large nollis marais pensive 800

PRE-SEASON BUILD-UP: Not having played against any New Zealand teams last year, the Bulls are in desperate need of game time against Kiwi franchise.

That is the main purpose of their midweek outing against the Chiefs in Brisbane on Thursday.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais, speaking to rugby365 from the team's training base in Australia, pointed out that only seven of the current Super Rugby squad have played against New Zealand teams before.

"We needed game time against a New Zealand team before the season started," Marais said.

"Dave Rennie's [Chiefs] team wanted to play against us," he added.

The Bulls coach said Thursday's match will give his players exposure to the "pace and intensity" they can expect from New Zealand teams.

"When we travel to New Zealand [at the end of March] we will have a good idea what the pace of the game will be like," he said of a tour that will see the Bulls face the Blues (at North Harbour on March 25) and Chiefs (in Hamilton on April 1).

Although Thursday's outing will be in a hot and Humid Brisbane - very different conditions than can expect in about six weeks' time in New Zealand, Marais is adamant the conditions are not of a concern.

"It is more important to get a taste of what it is like playing against New Zealand teams," he told rugby365, adding: "We also need to see where we are in terms of our preparations for the season."

After Thursday's encounter the Bulls - minus their contracted Springboks - will take part in the inaugural Brisbane 10s.

Again, game time is the most important factor.

"We need game time and contact against quality opposition.

"It will be contact sessions for the guys who did not play [against the Lions] in Zimbabwe.

"That is what we will be using these two games for, against the Chiefs and the 10s."

Teams:

Chiefs: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Solomon Alaimalo, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Latu Vaeno, 10 Stephen Donald (captain), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Mitchell Karpik, 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Matiaha Martin, 4 Mitchell Brown, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Mitchell Graham.
Replacements - form: Hika Elliot, Sosefo Kautai, Atu Moli, Fin Hoeata, Liam Messam, Finlay Christie, James Lowe, Toni Pulu, Joe Ravouvou , Luteru Laulala, Kane Hames.

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Handré Pollard (captain), 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Nic de Jager, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements - from: Edgar Marutlulle, Lizo Gqoboka, Jason Jenkins, Ruan Steenkamp, Piet van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Warrick Gelant, John-Roy Jenkinson, Jacobie Adriaanse, Renaldo Bothma, Francois Brummer, JT Jackson.

Date: Thursday, February 9
Venue: Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 18.30 (08.30 GMT; 21.30 NZ time)
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10