FILE - Joe van Zyl of the Bulls. Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
FILE - Joe van Zyl of the Bulls. Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bulls surprise as Joe van Zyl starts at hooker in Currie Cup final

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Sep 10, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Bulls coach Jake White sprung a surprise on Friday by handing Joe van Zyl a starting berth at hooker for Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld (5pm kickoff).

Van Zyl has hardly featured off the bench or in a starting capacity over the last few seasons, but will wear the No 2 jersey ahead of in-form youngster Jan-Hendrik Wessels for the title decider.

Schalk Erasmus, who was in the run-on team for the 48-31 semi-final victory over Western Province last weekend, misses out on a spot in the match-23 entirely for the final.

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As expected, Chris Smith comes in at flyhalf, with Johan Goosen not available after contracting Covid-19 following the WP clash, but White has kept faith with the rest of the side from last week.

“The players have proven to be consistent over the past few weeks in their performances, so it is only natural that we continue with that consistency into this all-important Currie Cup final,” White said on Friday.

“We expect a tough battle against the Sharks – a match that will be on par with test match rugby. The Sharks have been a formidable side throughout their campaign. They are well-coached, have talented players and are a driven group. So, we expect them to throw everything at us this weekend.

“We know what’s heading our way this weekend, and there is no doubt that rugby fans are in for a treat.”

Bulls Team

15 David Kriel 14 Cornal Hendricks 13 Lionel Mapoe 12 Harold Vorster 11 Madosh Tambwe 10 Chris Smith 9 Zak Burger 8 Elrigh Louw 7 Arno Botha 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain) 5 Ruan Nortjé 4 Janko Swanepoel 3 Mornay Smith 2 Joe van Zyl 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.

Bench: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels 17 Simphiwe Matanzima 18 Jacques van Rooyen 19 Jacques du Plessis 20 WJ Steenkamp 21 Keagan Johannes 22 Ruan Combrinck/David Coetzer 23 Stravino Jacobs.

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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