Vodacom Bulls need to fire against Lions

Vodacom Bulls need to fire against Lions

articles.comments (31)

Can the Lions make it three out of three and move to the top of the Vodacom Super Rugby standings when they take on the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, or will the home team slump to their worst start to the season in almost a decade?

These will be some of the questions on the minds of the two Gauteng-based sides when they clash in the first Jukskei-derby of 2014 – and this time the Lions will be arriving at Loftus Versfeld with their confidence high after a superb start to the season.

The Vodacom Bulls, on the other hand, are still winless. The last time they lost their opening three rounds of the competition was in 2005, but all three those matches were on the road. This weekend, the team from Pretoria are at their beloved Loftus Versfeld, where they boast a 63% win record in local derbies.

Their aims will be on completely different targets when the Vodacom Bulls host the Lions in their third round Vodacom Super Rugby match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday evening.

One will be trying to avert their worst-ever start to the season in nearly a decade, while the other is gunning for a third successive win and their best-ever start to the toughest provincial competition in the world.

When history is taken into account, it will be easy to think the Lions are the strugglers and the Vodacom Bulls the cruisers, but this time it’s the other way around.

And if the Lions can break their duck at Loftus Versfeld, like they did over the DHL Stormers last weekend, they will finish the round at the top of the standings.

In 2007, the Lions won four of their first five matches, but the defeat came in round one against the Waratahs. Their next best came in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012 when they won one out of their first three matches. But in 2010 and 2011 the team from Johannesburg were still winless after three rounds.

The Vodacom Bulls, on the other hand, have not lost three straight in the opening rounds since 2005. Two of those were Down Under, but in the opening round they came unstuck against the Cats at Ellis Park.

The Pretorians pulled themselves together and later that season they still made the semi-finals, but having been amongst the top teams for a long time, they know full-well home defeats are not ideal if you want to make it to the top six.

After making a number of changes to his team for this important match, Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said: “It is still early in the competition, but we have to be honest with ourselves – we cannot afford a repeat of the first two weekends, where we were lethargic and inaccurate in our set plays.

“The Lions are high on confidence, so we need not only to start well, but play with belief and commitment.”

Flip van der Merwe, who took over the captaincy from Pierre Spies last week, will again lead the team into battle.

“We are way down on the standards we set for ourselves this season,” said Van der Merwe.

“This will be our first home game of the season and we are pleased about it after two difficult weekends in Durban and Bloemfontein. We are facing a rampant Lions team though who are playing with passion, skill and precision. We need to match them in those areas if we want to record our first win of the tournament.”

The teams are:

Vodacom Bulls: Jurgen Visser, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Francois Hougaard, Grant Hattingh, Jacques du Plessis, Jono Ross, Victor Matfield, Flip van der Merwe (captain), Frik Kirsten, Callie Visagie, Dean Greyling. Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Werner Kruger, Marcel van der Merwe, Paul Willemse, Jacques Engelbrecht, Piet van Zyl, Handré Pollard, Ulrich Beyers.

Lions: Chrysander Botha, Deon van Rensburg, JW Jonker, Stefan Watermeyer, Ruan Combrinck, Marnitz Boshoff, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley (captain), Warwick Tecklenburg, Jaco Kriel, Franco van der Merwe, Franco Mostert, Julian Redelinghuys, Robbie Coetzee, Schalk van der Merwe. Replacements: Willie Wepener, Jacques van Rooyen, Ruan Dreyer, MB Lusaseni, Willie Britz, Ross Cronje, Courtnall Skosan, Coenie van Wyk.

Date: Saturday, 1 March
SA Time: 17h05
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
Television match official: Johan Greeff (South Africa)


Credit: SARU Corporate Affairs

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Feb 27, 2014
Flip Van der Merwe

(31) Vodacom Bulls need to fire against Lions

  1. ROSS IS NOG SO EFFENS OK MAAR VISSER IS USELESS REGTIG. HOEKOM SPAN ONS NIE POLLARD OP HEELAGTER HY IS AANVALLENDE SPELER OK
  2. Ek dink ons gaan wen. Kan netnie daai gevoel aan my alie afskud nie....

    Gameplan is bietjie voorspelbaar. Agterstebal in die lynstaan met Hattingh daar4/5 wat omvou en 11/14 wat die 10/12 kanaal aanval.

    Miskien werk dit maar wat ek gesien het van die leeus se defence is dit nogal goed. Ek bly maar bang vir die turnovers op die grond en sonder 'n fetcher. Voel nog steeds Mbonambi sal baie goed doen in daardie rol. Hy het die spoed krag en vaardighede.
  3. gravatar Bullebakkies says:
    Daar is tans geen passie en durf in die manier hoe ons speel nie. Met 2 slotte in die lostrio gaan ons sukkel.

    Ons span gaan n paar jaar neem voordat ons weer goed genoeg is om die kompetisie/enige kompetisie te wen.

    Ek onthou nog na ons 2009 en 2010 die S14 gewen het, het bestuur en afrigters gese die Bulls franchise wil rugby rugby in SA en S15 domineer die volgende paar jaar...waar is ons vandag? n Span wat meesal uit Vodacom Cup spelers bestaan...

    Wil graag het Ludeke moet verduidelik waaraan hy "beplan" het die afgelope 3 jaar wat hy nie CC span afgerig het nie!

  4. gravatar Jimmy says:
    Fire of word ge-fire.
  5. Jimmy jy praat so mooi en so waar!!
  6. gravatar Cornelius says:
    Intussen word ons links en regs gebel deur blou bul maatskapy om seisoen kaartjies te koop en om permanente sitpleeke te bekom teen n maandelikse prys, waarin ek genoem het, as die bulle wil speel vir die trui en bereid is om te wen, sy lewe wil gee vir die trui sal ek koop, maar lyk my hulle wil net op die veld wees om hul salaris te kry
    Hoekom het ons nie opvolgers soos, Johan Heunis, Naas Botha, Tommy Du Plessis, Moaner Van Heerden, Louis Moolma, net n paar en ek kan die lys nog langer maak
    As Oom Buurman nog geleef het sou ons nie in die posisie gewees het nie
    Ek sal my laaste sent gee vir die bulle maar dan moet hulle uithaal en wys
    Sterkte vir saterdag
  7. gravatar Andy Capp says:
    Last Monday Tukkies beat Ikeys with four locks
  8. gravatar passdiebal says:
    I hope the Lions play like the Ikeys.......
  9. gravatar Brett Bull says:
    Ek stem saam met jou, BLOUBEFOETERD, ek kry ook so gevoel dat ons dit hierdie Saterdag gaan deurtrek, die weersomstandighede lyk baie beter en dan sit ons met `n losskakel wat baie meer direk speel en ook strate beter is as Fouche (wat na my mening die grootste rede was vir die vorige twee wedstryde wat ons verloor het.

    Met `n bietjie harder veld en beter losskakel gaan ons senters meer in die spel kom en dan kan hulle skade aanrig. Basson weet ons kan goed afrond.

    Een groot leemte is nog steeds op die grond by breekpunte, ons is te stadig daar en gaan sukkel om turnovers te kry. Miskien met Hatting op agsteman gaan ons groter ouens vinniger by die breekpunte kry wat dan turnovers met counter rugging kan bewerkstellig.

    Moet se ek kan nie wag dat Steggies terug is nie en dan moet ons vir Pollard en Willimse genoeg speeltyd gee om hulle groot te maak vir hierdie vlak. Help nie ons probeer maatreels instel om in een jaar te wen nie en dan verloor ons die groter prentjie. Ons het juis te lank staat gemaak op ysters soos Bakkies, Rossouw, Steyn en andere en nooit aan die toekoms gedink nie.

    Go Bulle. Ek gee hulle die wen met 8 punte.
  10. gravatar Andy Capp says:
    The Ikeys reckon they are Tigers
  11. gravatar Victoriabok says:
    > Brett Bull
    > en dan sit ons met `n losskakel wat baie meer direk speel en ook strate beter is as Fouche (wat na my mening die grootste rede was vir die vorige twee wedstryde wat ons verloor het.


    Brettbull, moenie jou hopes opkry oor Fouche nie


    http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/Super15/Ludeke-still-backing-Fouche-20140227

    Ludeke still backing Fouché


    Brenden Nel - SuperSport

    Johannesburg - Bulls coach Frans Ludeke defended the dropping of flyhalf Louis Fouché from the squad to face the Lions in their Vodacom Super Rugby match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, saying the decision to elevate Jacques-Louis Potgieter from outside the squad was because he was “on form.”

    According to supersport.com website, Potgieter leap-frogged prodigy Handré Pollard as well as he was included in the starting line-up on Wednesday, and while the decision may well spell the end of Fouché’s hopes for the meantime, relegating him to third spot in the flyhalf race, it is also a lease of life for Potgieter, who re-joined the Bulls from Bayonne last month.

    Potgieter put in an excellent performance in Polokwane in the pre-season game against the Stormers and followed it up with an impressive 20 points against the Cheetahs Vodacom Cup team in the curtain-raiser to last Friday night’s Super Rugby loss.

    But Fouché, who has had poor form in the Bulls’ opening two losses, seemingly is the scapegoat for the defeats, with Ludeke saying he decided to rather go with the in form flyhalf.

    “It’s a tough decision. It’s almost a better decision for Louis, if you think about it. He’s a talented player, but we decided on the old head - the guy who is on song. He played in Polokwane and he played well in the curtain-raiser in Bloemfontein. He’s out from a season in France where he played until the weekend before he joined us,” Ludeke said.

    “He’s on, if you could call it that. You compare that to Handré (Pollard) and Louis is coming back from an injury, and we were satisfied with his preparation. We backed him, we believe he has a special talent and at the moment we decided to go for someone who has an old head, and whose game is on. We pulled Louis a bit back, we will work with him to get his confidence back.

    “It’s small things - his overall game was fantastic. His kicking accuracy was 74% with all his kicks, it was just that his goalkicks were off on the night. If you look at the weekend’s games, the goalkicking percentage across all teams was 50%. But goalkicking is vital, especially in the beginning of the competition where there are a lot of penalties and teams don’t have their rhythm right. If you have a good goalkicker you can get momentum in a game quickly.

    Ludeke did defend Fouché though, saying he needed to find his confidence again, but that he was far from finished. Ludeke said the team management still backed Fouché “100%”

    “Louis had a fantastic Currie Cup in 2012. He was our Currie Cup player of the year back then. In 2013, he had two Super Rugby games and then he picked up an injury that kept him out for the whole year. There is nothing wrong with his ability, he is a quality flyhalf and we need him. He could still be the guy who does something special for us at a vital stage of the season. You can’t coach that sort of talent and he has what it takes.

    “He came back from an injury perhaps too soon and I will take responsibility for that. Perhaps we should have been a bit more conservative in our approach, and managed his comeback better from our point of view - a knee operation, especially for a kicker, is a massive operation.

    “We back him 100%, he is still in our system and we need him. If you ask how does he come back, well, if there is an injury then he will be back, and the Vodacom Cup is also there for him to get his form back.”
  12. gravatar Ras Dumisani says:
    Die Bulle moet maar begin huis skoonmaak en een of twee ordentlike spelers volgende jaar koop. Voorstel : Koop Adriaan Strauss en maak hom sommer kaptein vir n begin, kry n goeie heelagter soos bv Willie le Roux, en koop sommer Siya Kolisi vir n bietjie kleur! Hopelik kan n fikse Arno Botha volgende jaar waarde toevoeg. Kies egter nou hierdie jaar die jonges dat hulle solank ondervinding kan kry. As mens realisties is, vergelyk ons nr 2,8,9,10 en nommer 15 swak met die ander spanne. Net op nommer 9 as Hougie speel soos hy kan is daar potensiaal, en Pollard kan goed word as hy kans kry bo gem spelers soos JLP. Callie Visagie, Grant Hatting op 8 en Visser op 15 sal nooit n Springbokspan haal nie. Nie te min staan nog bankvas agter my span!
  13. gravatar Hannes says:
    As die Bulle hardloop rugby speel en balbesit behou en nie wegskop nie, gaan niemand ons wen nie!
  14. gravatar Blouland says:
    Ja Hannes, die groot AS.

    Kom ons kyk of die AS Saterdag gaan gebeur, en of die AS sommer heeltemal afgebreek gaan word.

    Sterkte Bulle.
  15. gravatar Loftus says:
    Die mense wat hoop op n skielike verbetering en nuwe wedstrydplan gaan baie teleurgesteld wees. JLP skop die bal nog meer as Fouche. En Mr Ludeke, jammer om jou teleur te stel, maar JLP sal miskien vir jou iets spesiaal lewer 1 uit 15 wedstryde - in elk geval dit is hoe ek hom onthou.

    “Louis had a fantastic Currie Cup in 2012. He was our Currie Cup player of the year back then.'' Ek het seker daardie jaar se Currie cup gemis, want ek kan nie onthou dat Fouche ooit n fantastiese toernooi gehad het nie. Standaarde het so laag geval by die Bulle, ek weet nie of ek moet lag of huil nie.
  16. gravatar SUIDKAAPBUL says:
    Ludeke se volgens berigte op Supersport dat JLP die man in vorm is huidiglik.Nou wil ek hom vra hoekom kies hy hom nou eers?Maak nie sin nie ek .Hul se mos benoude bokke maak benoude spronge of so iets.
    Anyway op papier is dit onmoontlik dat die Leeus saterdag kan wen maar Watermeyer,Boshof,Mostert en Tecklenberg en Skosan sal n punt wil bewys.Die bulle wou hulle mos nie gehad het nie.
    Bulle met 12
  17. gravatar Dewald Nel says:
    Ek was verlede jaar by 6 uit 8 homegames van die round robin fase op Loftus, omdat die span dit die moeite werd gemaak het.

    Die keer kon ek kaartjies verniet kry, maar ek sien geen punt om die ge-palookary te ondersteun nie, daar is net nie passie nie, en dan nog het ons spelers soos Fouche en Ross wat nie op standaard is nie, en 'n hasbeen wat eens op 'n tyd 'n legende was, maar nerens is as hy nou op die veld kom nie. Moet nie eers laat ek begin met Grant Knock-Knock Hattingh nie.

    Die besluit om Victor terug te bring, lyk ongelooflik desperaat, en dui dus vir my daarop dat die bestuur nie weet wat hulle doen nie, want ons het genoeg slotte en voorspelers verloor om dit te noodsaak - nou speel ons 'n washout slot op agtsteman.

    Neewat, Bulle, hou op probeer om die seisoenkaartjies aan mense af te smeer, en probeer eerder om dit wat op die veld gebeur, reg te kry. Dan sal die seisoenkaartjies hulself verkoop.

    En nou is daar 'n kans dat ons dalk, net dalk teen die Leeus te wen. Dan wen ons 'n game teen 'n span wat ons 'n jaar terug nie eers sou dink om teen te verloor nie, en dan kom Ludeke weer uit met die soundbytes soos "Our season is on track now", en "It was tough, but we had faith", en "We really wanted to show the doubters".

    Dit alles terwyl 'n tight wen teen die on-form Lions net mooi niks sal beteken nie - is dit rerig die maatstaf teen wat ons onsself wil meet. Want kom ons wees nou eerlik, as die Cheetahs en Stormers die heel jaar moet speel soos hulle in daardie enkele games gespeel het, gaan hulle albei nie hoer as 11de op die log eindig nie.
  18. gravatar Kaapse Bul says:
    Sport24 se onderhoud met Johan Ackerman.
    Maak nie saak wat ons van die spelers se nie solank as FL die coach is gaan niks verander nie, nie die gameplan en nie die spelers nie.

    Naas het genoem dat op n afrigtings forum by die BB is daar gese al loop julle 40 nul agter bly julle by die game plan. Maw daar is geen vryheid vir die spelers om slef besluit te neem nie.

    n Ander artikel verwys ook dat Fl met HM se plan gewen het tot 2008 en dinge verkeerd geloop het, daarna het Matfield en F DPreez oorgeneem.

    I would like to think that I create an easy-going, fun atmosphere and a freedom which allows my coaching staff and players an opportunity speak freely whether sharing advice or offering opinion. As a coach, I strongly believe in making collective decisions which best benefit the team. And the element of respect is big in my book. Respect for the team environment, one’s teammates and the Lions jersey.

    Laastens dis die mees irriterinde website - wat veronderstel om n blog te wees.
  19. gravatar Nemo says:
    een van die hoofprobleme is die eenheid in die span - daar is geen samehorigheid, eensgesindheid en gemeenskaplike doelwitte. In my opinie kan jy nie een persoon he wat deel is van afrigting EN ook 'n speler. Verduidelik vir my hoe dit goeie spandinamika bevorder - Maandag sit hy saam met bestuur en bespreek spelers en die volgende dag oefen hy saam met spelers en in die wedstryd neem hy besluite wat verskil met die kaptein. Jammer, maar dit is resep vir mislukking. Ek vra net die vraag - het die spelers nog respek vir die afrigting en bestuurspan? Besluite soos spelers wat uit posisie geforseer word skep mos die indruk dat vir sekere spelers daar plek gemaak moet word. Besluite soos spelers wat bo-oor ander se koppe spring om skielik in die span te kom, skep mos onsekerheid en wantroue. Met 'n sielkundige as deel van die span, sukkel ek om te verstaan dat dit die modus operandi is. Wen of verloor - daar is baie om reg te stel voor konstante goeie resultate verwag kan word.
  20. Ek hoop al julle ape wat so aangaan oor Cook, Sadie en Venter wil nou besef dit was die regte keuse om hulle te laat gaan.
  21. gravatar Andy Capp says:
    But then some people will never learn.
  22. gravatar Brett Bull says:
    Wat my bekommerd maak is dat die Cheetahs maar ondergemiddeld teen die Rebles was en ons kon hulle nie wen nie. Dit wil my voorkom ons standaarde is op hierdie stadium maar laag. Dit sluit nou die Stomers, Bulls, Cheetahs en Lions in. Lyk my net die Sharks sal vanjaar iets werd wees, nie goed vir Suid Afrika se hoop op nog `n wereldbeker in 2015 nie.

    MAAR nou is ek darem baie negatief. Ek dink nie die bg spanne is al werklik getoets nie en ons weet nog nie werklik wat is hulle sterkte nie. Na hierdie naweek sal ons nader daaraan wees, weersomstandighede kan nie geblameer word nie en ook nie die feit dat dit `n eerste super wedstryd is nie.

    As die Bulls en die Stormers hierdie naweek wen sal ek eers weer meer gerus wees, jammer die Cheetahs het geslip.
  23. gravatar Victoriabok says:
    Ek sien die titel van hierdie post is

    "Vodacom Bulls need to fire against Lions"

    'n Beter titel sou wees

    "Vodacom Bulls will fire (if we lose) after Lions game"
  24. gravatar Jimmy says:
    “When the whistle has blown, and the game is on,
    and your voice is the only thing we hear,
    no I won' be afraid, no I won't be afraid,
    just as long as you stand, stand by me.

    So won't you, won't you stand by me,
    oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me.

    EVERY TRY, THAT WE'RE FIGHTING FOR,
    WE'RE FIGHTING FOR YOU,
    FOR YOUR GLORY,
    TOGETHER YOU AND ME.

    Raise your flag, raise your voice
    oh give us a cheer,
    just as long as you stand, stand by me.

    So Bulle Bulle stand by me, oh stand by me, stand by me,
    stand by me, stand by me, BULLE !!!

    HOU BY DIE BLOU MY VOLK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  25. gravatar bluedog says:
    Interessant die menings van almal op die blog. Ek was die afgelope drie jaar al aangevat oor die feit dat n bond soos die bloubulle toegelaat het dat die bond se rugby verval het tot waar hulle nou is. Ek het die afrigters aangeval en bb23 en slae gekry. Nou erken almal dit wat ek gesé het. Dit is werklik n skande dat ons vanaf n goue era van drie super titels toegelaat is om te val tot waar ons vandag is. In die verlede was bb23 gereeld op die blog maar nou skitter hy in sy afwesigheid. Dit gaan nie help om n vrae en antwoord sessie met hom te vra nie want hy kan nie eerlik en opreg antwoord op die vrae nie. Bb23 is bewus van ons bekommernisse oor bloubul rugby omrede hy die blog wel lees. Hy het egter nie antwoorde vir ons nie omrede die waarheid seer maak. Ons speel in n professionele era met n amateur unie. Die bloubulle behoort vooruit te beplan en te sien wanneer spelers einde se kant toe staan. Nee, ons laat loop top spelers wat ons in 2013 by die super halfeind gebring het omrede die bulle net wil ontvang en nie spandeer nie. Ons was aan die begin van n volgende goue era en toe val ons. Dankie bb23 en jou span. Die spelers. Wat kan mens sé. Die afrigter kan n span vat tot voor die game. Daarna is dit die spelers wat die game moet speel. Die huidige groep spelers is nie te jonk of onervare nie. Dit is n klomp twak. Naas Botha was 19. Etsebeth was 20. Lambie was 19 of 20. So kan mens aangaan. As jy die blou trui aantrek is jy goed genoeg vir daardie vlak van rugby speel. Oral speel jong spelers en perform. Wat is fout met ons jong spelers. Ongedissiplineerd en bederf met groot geld. Sien die wéreld op rugby se koste. Geen trots op die ligblou trui nie. Nie bereid om vodacom en curriebeker level te speel by die bulle nie. Indien wel hardloop hulle eerder na ander unies en speel daar op dieselfde vlak. Almal kan nie super rugby speel nie. Die vodacom en curriebeker ontwikkel spelers. Kyk maar hoe presteer ons eie spelers oral by ander unies en ons stroop spelers uit die kaap uit wat tog weer sal terug gaan wp toe. Lojaliteit teenoor die bloubul trui kan nie gekoop word nie. Veranderings moet kom. Bestuur en afrigting. Naas ons wag op jou. Jou era het aangebreek om n professionele unie van die blou bulle te maak. Vanmiddag speel ons die leeus. As daar passie en trots is by die spelers op die blou trui sal ons met die leeus mors. Indien nie, is dit nag vir ons. Mede bloubul ondersteuners, kom ons los die afrigters uit vir n slag en konsentreer op die spelers. Laat hulle voel hoe om op n lee loftus te speel. Begin wen en loftus sal vol loop. Sterkte vir die game. Bloubul tot my einde.
  26. gravatar Cornelius says:
    Ek het ook die gevoel dat ons gaan wen vandag,maar by gesê moet net nie weer skop en jaag rugby speel, ek sien ook ons is laaste op die SA punte leer
    kom bulle julle kan en baie sterkte
  27. gravatar Barrybul says:
    Don't get your hopes to win today. if anything happens the Bulls are going to get thrashed, if the Bulls win today I will apologize on this site, the head caption says "Vodacom Bulls need to fire against Lions" the only firing that needs to happen is the coaching staff needs to get FIRED!
  28. gravatar Andy Capp says:
    the only known is that nobody believes in the Bulls.
  29. gravatar Barrybul says:
    I said I would apologize if the Bulls won so here it is, "Sorry Bulls", I didn't see much of the game so I cannot comment, I don't know if the Lions were as effective as last week but a win is a win, continue to build from this and make us supporters proud, still think FL should go and take his cronies with him!
  30. gravatar FRANNABUL says:
    Kan jy glo, diesellfde gameplan. selfde weer en ons wen. Net nr 10 het verander. Doemprofete,, ek hoop julle stik in julle soda.........Go FL, Go Victor.En die rejects het vanaand gewys hoekom hulle nie Blou Bul jkontrakte het nie. Telling vlei Lions, moes 33 vs 3 gewees het!

    Nitronic, val in jopu Spies......

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