PRETORIA – The Bulls will be looking to finish their Super Rugby campaign in a blaze of glory as they target two victories in their remaining matches of the regular season.
Bulls coach Pote Human made five changes to the team that will run out against the Highlanders tomorrow with Handre Pollard making a welcome return as captain and flyhalf.
“I think Polly’s return will give the guys a massive boost, we know it’s a make-or-break game, and we need to perform,” Human said yesterday. “We know it is in our own hands, and we know the Highlanders aren’t an easy team to play, but it is up to us to make our luck.”
Pollard, who missed the last two matches due to injury, will have Embrose Papier as his halfback partner while Divan Rossouw and Dylan Sage replace the injured Warrick Gelant and Rosko Specman respectively.
Johnny Kotze moves to the wing, while Sage will slot in at centre in the former’s place.
Marco van Staden will shift to the back of the scrum in the place of No 8 Paul Schoeman while Hanro Liebenberg and Ruan Steenkamp will be on the side of the scrum.
Human has made a call for more tries from his charges, as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive with two matches to go.
“It is never easy to play under this pressure, the players feel it, but we know we can make it a great season, or we can throw it away on Friday night,” Human said. “It is very important for us to perform and for that reason, I’ve challenged the guys to score tries as their mission this weekend because we won’t beat the Highlanders if we don’t score tries.”
Human said he hoped his forwards would lay a good foundation against a strong Highlanders pack and create scoring opportunities for the backline.
“The Highlanders have a good scrum, I think they are the best scrum pack in New Zealand while they have scored the second most tries from the driving maul,” Human said.
“We expect a big onslaught from them upfront, but in saying that we have a lot of faith in our pack. Lizo Gqoboka and Trevor Nyakane have started every match, and it is not every day that you can say that about props.
“They perform week after week, and it is really great to have them in our team.”
The Vodacom Bulls had their captains run at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin today.— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) June 6, 2019
The team is focused and ready for their last match on tour vs the Highlanders#BullsFamily #HIGvBUL pic.twitter.com/WEKAKk0sZr
The Bulls team is:
Divan Rossouw, Cornal Hendricks, Dylan Sage, Burger Odendaal, Johnny Kotze, Handre Pollard (capt), Embrose Papier, Marco van Staden, Hanro Liebenberg, Ruan Steenkamp, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane, Schalk Brits, Lizo Gqoboka
Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Simphiwe Matanzima, Wiehahn Herbst, Jannes Kirsten, Johan Grobbelaar, Ivan van Zyl, Manie Libbok, JT Jackson.