Bulls hope to maintain winning run

2014-05-31 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — The Bulls will have their 11th straight victory over the Lions in their sights when they travel to Ellis Park in Johannesburg today for the penultimate match of Super Rugby before the June break.

The closest the Lions ever came to beating the Bulls at Ellis Park was in 2011, when they ended up losing 24-20 with current Lions captain Warren Whiteley one of the try-scorers for the home team that day.

The Lions were in the same boat against the Stormers, but they changed that with a superb 34-10 win in round two this year.

Similarly, the Cheetahs recorded their first-ever victory over the Bulls earlier this season in Bloemfontein, also in round two.

The Bulls still have their eye on making the top six on the log and will therefore be mindful of the threat posed by the Lions.

Johan Ackermann’s team returned from their Australasian tour on Sunday and despite not winning any of their matches abroad, have proven a difficult opponent at Ellis Park this season.

“We have to win every remaining match, so are keen to keep on the winning track,” said Bulls coach Frans Ludeke. “It will also be important for us to go into the break with some momentum. We cannot afford to let them dominate the pace of the match or the style of play.”

Looking at the two starting line-ups selected for today, no fewer than seven players have crossed the Jukskei River to further their careers.

At the Lions, Courtnall Skosan, Marnitz Boshoff, Warwick Tecklenburg, Franco Mostert and Robbie Coetzee have been part of the Blue Bulls’ set-up, while the Bulls have selected former Lions Grant Hattingh and Callie Visagie to start this weekend.


Lions: 15. Coenie van Wyk, 14. Courtnall Skosan, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Chrysander Botha, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronjé, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Rudi Mathee, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Corné Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Willie Britz, 20. Derick Minnie, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Deon van Rensburg

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Morné Mellett, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Wimpie van der Walt, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Louis Fouché, 23 William-Small Smith.

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