Momentum key for Bulls ahead of Brumbies clash

2012-04-18 15:01

Momentum is key to a good run in any sport or competition and the Bulls have sought to build on theirs by naming an unchanged side for their Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies.

They will be sweating on the fitness of prop Dean Greyling and if he does not recover from a bruised shoulder, he will be replaced by Dawie Steyn. Gerrit-Jan van Velze replaces the hapless Dewald Potgieter, who will be out for four to six weeks due to a hamstring injury. The two sides will meet at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening and kickoff is at 7:10pm.

The Brumbies currently top the Australian conference with 24 points, but Australian sides have fared poorly away from home this season, with none of them winning an away game. The last Australian visitors to Loftus were the Reds, who were thrashed 61-8 by the three-time champions last month. However, Bulls coach Frans Ludeke chose not to underestimate the Australian Capital Territories side, who have won the competition twice.

“They are a good defensive team. They play much more directly, they have a good pack of forwards and their set phases are good. They aren’t the Australian conference leaders for nothing. They deserve to be there,” he said at a press conference at Loftus Versfeld today.

Ludeke neatly sidestepped the issue around Brumbies coach Jake White’s comments about South African teams’ underhanded tactics, saying that he had a lot of respect for White, acknowledging the changes the former Springbok coach had made to the team.

“That is only talk; we just want to improve on last week’s performance, we have goals that we want to reach on the field,” Ludeke said.

The Bulls will have a bye next week before embarking on a four-match trip to Australia and New Zealand. The odds are stacked against the Brumbies, who last won in Pretoria in 2006 while their last clash in 2010 saw the Bulls cruise to a 50-32 win at Loftus.

Bulls: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morné Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies, Jacques Potgieter, CJ Stander, Juandré Kruger, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling/Dawie Steyn.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Frik Kirsten, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Arno Botha, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouché, Johann Sadie.

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