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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 15h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Gloucester v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Kingsholm
Bulls v Lions 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scarlets v Leinster 15h15 Parc y Scarlets
Zebre v Ospreys 17h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Cheetahs v Connacht 17h35 Bloemfontein
Jaguares v Hurricanes 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 1 0 0 4
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 1
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 5
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Hurricanes 1 0 0 1 1
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Chiefs 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 2 2 0 0 9
Stormers 2 1 0 1 5
Bulls 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Jaguares 2 0 0 2 0