Cape Town – Bulls coach Jake White has decided to reward the team that beat the Lions last week by making just one change to the starting line-up for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship clash against the Johannesburg side at Loftus Versfeld.
The 34-10 victory at Ellis Park last weekend saw the Bulls return to winning ways following their defeat to the Stormers in Pretoria a week earlier.
That means that White has largely stuck with the team that did the business in Johannesburg. The only new face in the starting XV is Zak Burger, who comes in at scrumhalf for Embrose Papier, who drops down to the bench.
There is one other change among the replacements, with experienced centre Cornal Hendricks replacing David Kriel.
One of the new youngsters who performed well against the Lions last week, wing Canan Moodie, retains his spot at No 14, with Madosh Tambwe on the opposite touchline.
White will hope that former Blitzboks star Kurt-Lee Arendse gets a few more opportunities to attack with ball-in-hand from fullback, as he showed what he could do on occasion with the few chances he had at Ellis Park.
The Lions will be determined to put up a better fight at Loftus Versfeld, especially upfront and in defence, where they lacked the necessary physicality.
So, the Bulls will be looking to giant No 8 Elrigh Louw to set the tone once more with his strong ball-carries, and captain Marcell Coetzee contesting the breakdowns.
“The result from last weekend when we beat the Lions at (Ellis) Park will mean nothing. It’s now a new week, and they will come to Loftus Versfeld a hungry side and will want to make amends for the defeat last Saturday,” White said on Friday.
“We expect nothing less than another challenging encounter against the side from Johannesburg. They showed how strong they can be in the set-pieces last week, while also coming at us with some clever, running rugby. We can definitely expect more of the same this weekend.”
15 Kurt-Lee Arendse 14 Canan Moodie 13 Lionel Mapoe 12 Harold Vorster 11 Madosh Tambwe 10 Morné Steyn 9 Zak Burger 8 Elrigh Louw 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain) 5 Ruan Nortje 4 Walt Steenkamp 3 Jacques van Rooyen 2 Johan Grobbelaar 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Bench: 16 Bismarck du Plessis 17 Lizo Gqoboka 18 Robert Hunt 19 Janko Swanepoel 20 Muller Uys 21 Embrose Papier 22 Chris Smith 23 Cornal Hendricks.