Vodacom Blue Bulls Executive: Rugby, John Mitchell, named an unchanged starting team to play the Toyota Free State in Bloemfontein on Friday. The same squad that were edged by DHL Western Province last weekend will travel to Toyota Park, with only one change on the bench, where Matthys Basson is replacing Dayan van der Westhuizen as back-up prop.
This is the first time Mitchell was able to name the same starting team since taking over the reins and the coach was understandably happy with the continuity.
“We are starting to find our feet now and this will help yes,” Mitchell said.
“I thought we were desperately unlucky not to get the result against a very strong WP side last weekend, but the challenge will be for us to regroup and make sure our confidence levels are up for the Bloemfontein clash. It is an important match for us, as we need to show more improvement and progress. The hard work is slowly paying off and now the processes and results much start coming together.”
Vodacom Blue Bulls captain, Burger Odendaal, said the team is keen to play.
“Last weekend, despite the result, was a huge boost for us as we are getting more and more competitive every week and the progress and belief is getting better every week. That is very pleasing from a squad perspective and we are slowly but surely getting on the same page. That is very exciting to be part of,” Odendaal said.
The team (with Currie Cup appearances and points) is: Warrick Gelant (23, 45), Duncan Matthews (6, 10), Burger Odendaal (c; 39, 30), JT Jackson (12, 9), Johnny Kotze (30, 30), Marnitz Boshoff (50, 425), Ivan van Zyl (16, 10), Nic de Jager (17, 15), Tim Agaba (25, 15), Marco van Staden (3, 0), Ruben van Heerden (10, 15), Ashton Fortuin (4, 5), Conraad van Vuuren (7, 0), Edgar Mautlulle (49, 40), Pierre Schoeman (21, 5). Replacements: Johan Grobbelaar (7, 10), Matthys Basson (6, 0), Jano Venter (6, 0), Boom Prinsloo (43, 65), Piet van Zyl (50, 60), Tony Jantjies (6, 59), Ulrich Beyers (44, 45).