Bulls need to show character after Newlands thumping

2012-09-06 10:11

Bouncing back from a heavy defeat takes a lot of character. It’s a trait the Blue Bulls will need to show when they clash with the Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, especially after their 42-6 drubbing at the hands of Western Province.

Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar admitted they were poor against Western Province, but said they needed to forget about that dismal performance and focus on the Lions match.

“Our focus this week is just on the Lions and to make sure that we come out and play a better game,” he said.

Deon Stegmann’s injury blighted season continued as a broken arm ruled him out. Warwick Tecklenburg replaces him while Francois Venter returns to the starting line up after withdrawing at short notice before the Western Province match. Bongi Mbonambi and Jean Cook occupy the bench in place of Robbie Coetzee and Tecklenburg.

Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter said the team’s inexperience caught up with them as they were playing away from home, but added that it is something they needed to get over.

“Experience plays a big part in a player’s ability to absorb pressure,” Potgieter said.

“The mental aspect of playing rugby is immense but if you going to succumb to the pressure every time you feel it, you are going to have a pretty tough competition.”

Home is where the comfort lies for the Bulls, as they have returned two wins from two matches.

It is their away form that has been of concern though, as they have they have nothing to show from their trips.

Pienaar said they would be ready for the Lions and the threat they posed at scrumtime.

Pienaar was also aware of a united Lions side that has lost players to the Springbok cause.

“They have had their battles off the field that have been addressed in the last two weeks,” Pienaar said said.

“They are the Currie Cup holders and they lost against the Griquas and they did not play very well. However, it is more of a focus on us than on the other team.”

Team:

Blue Bulls: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 7 CJ Stander, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Jurgen Visser


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