Pienaar hopes for fit side for Sharks clash

2012-08-22 15:36

With their 32-18 mauling at the hands of the Cheetahs on Friday evening behind him, Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar said he hoped his team would be able to pitch up on Saturday when they face the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld.

Various illnesses and injuries have kept the Bulls from training, which has not made Pienaar’s task easier.

“I’ll see if the boys can pitch up on Saturday and we’ll see who is fit,” Pienaar said.

“This week has been difficult because we have not had training because of all the players that are sick.”

The Pretoria side has made three changes from Friday’s run on 15.

Johann Sadie will make his first Currie Cup start for the Bulls in place of Ulrich Beyers, who drops down to the Under-21 side.

Captain Dewald Potgieter makes a return to the number eight slot after missing put on Friday, necessitating a positional change with Grant Hattingh moving to lock.

Werner Kruger takes Frik Kirsten’s place at prop, with the latter dropping to the bench along with Cornell Hess. Pienaar said the Sharks posed a major threat as they had disposed of two top sides in Western Province and the Lions in contrasting style.

Their Cape Town win was gained through rasping counterattacks and grinding forward play while the Lions were lucky to escape with 30-14 defeat.

“They are a quality side and they are the best provincial side in the country. They were in the Super Rugby final and they are top of the log,” Pienaar said.

“If you make a mistake against them, they will punish you with their counterattacking game. Our ball carriers have to be spot on. If we don’t put up a good tacklefight, they are going to make it difficult for us.”

Blue Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Clayton Blommetjies, 10 Louis Fouchè, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Dewald Potgieter (k), 7 CJ Stander, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Rudy Paige, 20 Lionel Cronjè, 22 Jan Serfontein

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