Frans Ludeke on return of Bulls captain: Let bygones be bygones

2014-03-19 18:17

The last time Blue Bulls loose forward Dewald Potgieter was seen in a blue jersey was during last year’s dreadful Super Rugby semifinal against the Brumbies.

His decision-making, which included the spurning of three kickable penalties, will go down in history as among the most ludicrous in knock-out rugby history.

The Bulls lost that game, but coach Frans Ludeke has no qualms about having his former captain back.

“It is great to have Dewald back and he will add a lot of value to our team and what happened last year is history. He was a big part in the building of our successful team. What is fresh in our memory is what he can add to the team,” Ludeke said.

To that effect, Potgieter relegates regular Jono Ross to the bench at number eight. Sampie Mastriet will fill in for Akona Ndungane, who is on compassionate leave following the death of his father. Jacques Engelbrecht drops out of the match 23 altogether.

Captain Flip van der Merwe knows that the Sharks, who thrashed them 31-16 in the first round, will pose a massive threat, but the lock said it is just another South African derby.

“We don’t try to become part of what the crowd does. We have an entirely different job to take care of. It is a local derby and a very big match. There is pride at stake and we are at home,” Van der Merwe said.

“I can’t say we get up more for this game than any other game, but we will have to be at our best to beat the Sharks.”

South African derbies are not renowned for being try festivals, with the Stormers-Lions first round game being the obvious example – the Cape side conceded six goalable penalties.

The Bulls conceded four tries but with Frans Steyn, the Sharks have a man who is capable of nailing even the smallest of Bulls’ infractions inside their half.

Ludeke said he was happy with his team’s discipline but they will have to sharpen up further.

“We are a disciplined team and the last few games have shown that. Even in the games that we lost, we won the battle in terms of conceding penalties,” Ludeke said.

“We fully understand the breakdown laws and it will be down to smart thinking. It will be the same this weekend. We will be disciplined.”

Teams:

Bulls:

15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Dewald Potgieter, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Paul Willemse, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers, 23 Morné Mellet

Sharks: to be announced

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