Bulls' Bok sets new benchmark

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 11:08

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Bulls' Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss will set a new Super Rugby benchmark at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Strauss will become the most experienced South African in Super Rugby when he takes to the field for the Bulls against the Stormers on Saturday.

Strauss will play in his 149th match in the tournament, bettering the 148-match record he shared with Victor Matfield, another former Bulls captain.

Strauss, who made his debut for the Bulls in 2006, is one of four changes to the starting team for the big North/South derby.

The veteran will start in place of Jaco Visagie, who moves to the bench, with Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier also swapping roles after the latter started at scrumhalf against the Crusaders last Friday.

The same will apply at blindside flank, where Marco van Staden will earn a first start for the year, with Roelof Smith playing off the bench.

Bulls coach, John Mitchell, also moved Hanro Liebenberg to lock in place of injured Lodewyk de Jager, resulting in Thembelani Bholi slotting into the No.7 jersey vacated by Liebenberg.

The changes resulted in new combinations in the front row, lock, loose trio and the halfback positions, but Mitchell does not believe it will affect the overall performance.

"Whether you start or finish the game, I still expect a 100 percent effort from all the players and we want to start strong and finish strong," Mitchell said.

"This will require a collective effort from all 23 players in the squad and everyone is well aware of their roles and responsibilities."

Mitchell congratulated Strauss on his landmark.

"Adriaan has been a true servant of South African rugby and has left his mark with the Bulls, so it is fitting that he could reach that milestone in front of his home crowd.

"The Stormers are not travelling here for sentimental reasons though, so neither can we take the field with those. It will be a typical derby no doubt."

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Hanro Liebenberg, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frans van Wyk, 18 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Johnny Kotze.

Date: Saturday, March 31
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14