Bulls demote Schoeman to bench

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 09:51
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Bulls coach Nollis Marais drafted in Jason Jenkins to replace injured Lodewyk de Jager for their clash against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The other change to the side that lost to the Stormers last weekend sees Lizo Gqoboka replace Pierre Schoeman in the starting XV.

Renaldo Bothma will fill the vacancy on the bench left by the promotion of Jenkins.

Marais, who was addressing media in Pretoria ahead of the match, pulled no punches about the opening weekend in Cape Town.

"We were outplayed by a better team on the day. It was a very good reality check and lessons were learned. We need to show that we can learn from mistakes and improve on them," Marais said.

"The Cheetahs will be hurting after that close loss to the Lions last weekend and will be motivated in what happened in our last match in Bloemfontein. 

"I have no doubt that this group of Bulls players are good enough to be real contenders, but that belief will be tested by a side that refuses to give up or accept defeat. We have another massive challenge ahead of us, but I can honestly say that everyone in the squad is looking forward to this."

Bulls captain Handré Pollard scored 29 points against the Cheetahs the last time he faced them in Bloemfontein, but is adamant that everyone is on a clean slate this time around.

"What you achieved in the past means nothing if you don't deliver your A-game every time, something myself and the team realised again last weekend in Cape Town. 

"We need to produce come Saturday, with a performance that will do justice to the hard work done, but also to justify the support of our fans and the backing from our coaches. In short, we need to show that we are serious to win this competition," Pollard insisted.

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Burger Odendaal, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Handré Pollard (captain), 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Nick de Jager, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka. 
Replacments: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 TianSchoeman, 23 Warrick Gelant.

Date: Saturday, March 4
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19.30 (17.30 GMT)
Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
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Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
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Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
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Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
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NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
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Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
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Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 10
Waratahs 5 2 0 3 8
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 4 1 0 3 5
Rebels 4 0 0 4 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 5 0 0 21
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Highlanders 4 1 0 3 5
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 3 3 0 0 13
Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 9
Bulls 3 1 0 2 5
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 4 3 0 1 14
Lions 4 3 0 1 14
Sharks 4 3 0 1 13
Kings 4 1 0 3 5