Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pote Human has made three changes and positional switch for the crucial Absa Currie Cup match against the Sharks on Friday.
Hooker Gary Botha is rested after suffering from back spasms. His place is taken by Kobus van der Walt. Hottie Louw gets his first chance to start in the second row, with Adriaan Fondse dropping to the bench.
Captain Frikkie Welsh moves from outside centre to left wing to accomodate the fit-again JP Nel. Left wing Marius Delport drops out of the match 22 completely.
“It’s a big game against the Sharks and one we have to win because it is at home,” Welsh told keo.co.za. “We have not been convincing in our two home games so far this season and we need to step up considerably.”
The Bulls stumbled to an 18-16 win over the Valke in round one and were beaten 15-10 by Western Province last weekend. Indications are that the team is slowly finding its stride, albeit for no more than about 30 minutes against the Pumas.
Welsh was pleased with the bonus-point victory over the Pumas in Witbank at the weekend, but lamented a poor second half display in which they were held to 7-all. “We gave away far too many turnovers and against a team like the Sharks or for that matter any of the top sides, we will be punished.”
“We have already worked hard at securing the ball at the breakdown and we know we must lift our game.” The Sharks suffered their first defeat of the campaign on Saturday and will come to Loftus Versfeld with a point to prove.
“We have to be aware of the Sharks backlash and we owe our fans a good performance at home.”
Bulls team to play Sharks:
15 Stefan Basson, 14 John Mametsa, 13 JP Nel, 12 Dries Scholtz, 11 Frikkie Welsh (captain), 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Heini Adams, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Tim Dlulane, 6 Warren Brosnihan, 5 Francois van Schouwenburg, 4 Hottie Louw, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Kobus vd Walt, 1 Wessel Roux.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 Adriaan Fondse, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Neil Powell, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22 Johan Roets.
By Andrew Hollely