Bonus-point or bust for Bulls

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pote Human believes securing five points against the Vodacom Cheetahs is a non-negotiable.

Though the Bulls only require one bonus-point to be assured of a semi-final berth, Human was in insistent that a full points haul would be the priority.

“We can also reach the semi-finals by losing by less than seven points,” he told Morris Gilbert of Beeld. “But that would be irrational thinking and would mean that we surrender the opportunity to host a home semi-final.

“For that reason losing is not part of our thinking, the main goal for us will be to win. If we can score four tries and get the bonus-point, we will finish first, providing we beat the Cheetahs by eight or more points and we prevent them from scoring four tries,” he said.

Earlier this week Bulls technical guru John McFarland told keo.co.za that the Cheetahs played “Blue Bulls style rugby” and Human concurred with this sentiment when asked what type of gameplan the Bloemfontein-based side would employ.

“We’d be surprised if they didn’t try and dominate us by driving with their forwards,” he said. “We also expect them to search for space by kicking the ball behind us.”

Derick Hougaard’s inclusion ahead of Morné Steyn at flyhalf has been seen as a conservative move by some pundits, but Human was adamant that Hougaard was capable of adapting to any gameplan.

“It’ll be a mistake to think that Derick is incapable of of playing attacking rugby. Remember that we scored six tries against the Sharks with him at flyhalf.

“He needed a break but now we need his experience as a match winner in big game situations and Saturday doesn’t get much bigger.”

Vodacom Blue Bulls squad: 15. Johan Roets 14. Akona Ndungane 13. JP Nel 12. Dries Scholtz 11. Marius Delport 10. Derick Hougaard 9. Heini Adams 8. Pierre Spies 7. Hilton Lobberts 6. Danie Rossouw 5. Francois van Schouwenburg 4. Adriaan Fondse 3. Rayno Gerber 2. Gary Botha (c) 1. Jaco Engels Reserves: 16. Adriaan Strauss 17. Danie Thiart 18. Hottie Louw 19. Derick Kuün 20. Neil Powell 21. Morné Steyn 22. Stefan Basson.