Significant changes as Human braces for Kimberley battle

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach, Pote Human, made changes to his back three, midfield and loose trio for this weekend’s Currie Cup clash against Tafel Lager Griquas in Kimberley. Duncan Matthews, Franco Naude and Nick de Jager will all make first starts in the competition at Tafel Lager Park on Saturday, with only Matthews being part of the action so far.

He replaces Jamba Ulengo on the wing, Naude comes in for injured Johnny Kotze and De Jager jumps into the number seven jersey held by Jano Venter, who will play off the bench.

Human also included Dayan van der Westhuizen on the bench in place of Conraad van Vuuren and will give a first hit-out to former Blitzboks star, Dylan Sage. The outside back was recently voted in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Dream Team and will be keen to continue that vein of form in the fifteens code.

“We are with our backs against the wall already and it is only week four of the competition,” Human admitted. “The defeat last week against the Xerox Golden Lions did hurt and it was a setback in our efforts to remain consistent and to find an upward curve in this year’s competition.”

The coach said the squad will have to face hostile opponents and a very patriotic home crowd in Kimberley, a venue where he coached a number of years himself.

“It is not the ideal fixture coming off a loss and looking for some confidence, but that challenge may just be what we need as a squad. The team is capable enough to go and win in Kimberley, but we need to execute, not give away silly penalties and finish the chances we create.”

Vodacom Blue Bulls captain, Hanro Liebenberg, urged his team for an 80 minute effort. “We did not do that in our previous two matches in Durban and last weekend at Loftus Versfeld. We have soft moments in our game that we need to get rid of if we want to return to winning ways. The lapses of concentration have cost us.”

The referee for the match is Egon Seconds and kick-off is at 14h15. The match will be live on SuperSport1.

The squad to travel to Kimberley (with Currie Cup caps and points) is:

  1. Divan Rossouw (6 & 5)
  2. Jade Stighling (12 & 15)
  3. Franco Naude (3 & 0)
  4. JT Jackson (16 & 12)
  5. Duncan Matthews (13 & 15)
  6. Manie Libbok (6 & 47)
  7. Andre Warner (18 & 15)
  8. Hanro Liebenberg (Captain, 17 & 15)
  9. Nick de Jager (20 & 15)
  10. Ruan Steenkamp (12 & 25)
  11. Eli Snyman (2 & 0)
  12. Hendre Stassen (3 & 0)
  13. Trevor Nyakane (27 & 10)
  14. Jaco Visagie (30 & 5)
  15. Matthys Basson (10 & 0)

Replacements:

  1. Edgar Marutlulle (53 & 45)
  2. Dayan van der Westhuizen (15 & 10)
  3. Ruan Nortje (3 & 0)
  4. Jano Venter (18 & 5)
  5. Ivan van Zyl (20 & 25)
  6. Tinus de Beer (5 & 20)
  7. Dylan Sage (on debut)

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