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Vodacom Blue Bulls know importance of home win


Trans-Jukskei derbies, between the Blue Bulls and Lions, are never games of 'touch rugby', but there will be extra measures of desperation and determination when they go head-to-head on Saturday, writes Jan de Koning of rugby365.co.za in his preview for this match The defending champion Bulls will bring the desperation factor to the game.

They have already lost five games this season - the same number they lost last year; before sneaking into the play-offs, beating Western Province (away) in the semifinal and going on to win the tournament.

The men from Pretoria are well aware that they can't afford another slip, as the road to the play-offs are paved with peril.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said this week his players realise the importance of this match. "A win could move us back into the top three," Ludeke told a media gathering in Pretoria. "It will be very though, as the Lions certainly have their tails up after five consecutive wins."

He was supported in this view by his captain, Derick Kuün, who admitted that his team was at a 'crossroads' and that they are well aware of what needs to be done.

The determination factor comes from the resurgent Lions, who are one place (in fourth spot) and one point ahead of the Bulls on the Currie Cup standings.

Lions forward coach Johan Ackermann said not just this Saturday, but the next three weeks, will be a huge test for the men from Johannesburg - if they hope to extend their victory run, currently standing at five matches.

"Yes, the next three weeks will be an exceptionally big test for the guys, as all the teams we are facing have Super Rugby experience," Ackermann told rugby365.com.

The Lions' road to the play-offs do to seem to be attended by tougher obstacles - the Blue Bulls, in Pretoria; the Sharks, in Johannesburg; the Cheetahs, in Bloemfontein and finally the Pumas, in Witbank.

The Bulls face the Lions (in Pretoria), the Leopards (in Potchefstroom), Western Province (in Pretoria) and Griquas (in Kimberley).

However, the Lions are determined not to let their revival - after a winless Super 14 season - fall flat at Loftus Versfeld.

"There is a lot of hard work that await and the guys are well aware of the toughness of the task at hand," Ackermann said.

Ackermann said that while the confidence in the Lions camp is high, they will not let their guard down against arguably South Africa's most successful team of the modern era.

"The players have a good structure and a good framework to play within," Ackermann told rugby365.com, adding: "We tweak it [the game plan] as we feel it needs to be from week to week, but I must give the players credit for the hard work they put in within that structure.

"This [winning on Saturday] is not something that will happen if individuals do well, it must be a team effort."

The Lions forwards coach admitted that the derby factor will ensure the game has an added physical edge.

"Right across the country, even at schools level, when you have these local games they are really tough and Saturday will be no different," said Ackermann, who in his playing days featured in both the Blue Bulls and Lions teams.

Ludeke also spoke of the physical nature of these derbies.

"I am happy that we focused on the right areas during our preparation this week," the Bulls mentor said, adding: "We will be looking to dominate the collisions on the weekend."

Recent results:
2007: Blue Bulls won 25-11, Pretoria
2007: Lions won 27-22, Johannesburg
2008: Blue Bulls won 21-7, Johannesburg
2008: Lions won 30-27, Pretoria
2009: Blue Bulls won 19-13, Pretoria
2009: Lions won 20-13, Johannesburg
2010: Blue Bulls won 32-18, Johannesburg

rugby365.com Prediction: The Blue Bulls have not looked like a championship side this year, with a lack of consistency probably their biggest downfall. The Lions, however, have bounced back magnificently from a poor start (four defeats in their first five matches) to move into the top four on the standings.

The Bulls will look to replicate the form they showed in beating the Sharks at Loftus recently. While the Lions need no reminding that their best performances came in victories over the Free State Cheetahs and Western Province. To say it will be brutal is stating the obvious. It will be worth every cent of the entry fee, as two giants of the South African game slug it out. To call a winner is tough, but we feel the Lions' youthful exuberance may get the better of them and the Bulls will win a gruelling arm wrestle - by less than 10 points.

Teams:

Vodacom Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7 CJ Stander, 6 Derick Kuün (captain), 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling. Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Jaco Engels, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Okkie Kruger, 21 Dustin Jinka, 22 Stephan Dippenaar.

Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe (captain), 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg. Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Wikus van Heerden, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Marius Delport.

Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: François Groenewald, Attie Buitendag
TMO: Shaun Veldsman



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1. Bulle ek is nie bekkommerd nie. Ons het die beste tien jaar agter die rug met ons rugby. Ek weet nie of julle die negentigs kan onthou nie. Die Blou Bulle het in 1996 as ek reg kan onthou n Visie en Misie gehad om n Legende te word in SA Rugby. Ons het die vrugte begin pluk. Om die Legende aan te laat hou verg BAIE swoeg, sweet, beplan, hartseer, deursettings vermoe, verloor, wen EN om nederig te bly en jou oe op jou Skepper te hou. Ek glo ons is nog steeds besig om die Legende van die Bulle te sien groei. Iemand het eendag die volgende gese:

" The Road To Success Is ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION"

Sterkte vir Saterdag teen die Leeus.

BULLE 28 - 19 welpies
Posted by Bl@de Runner (Krugersdorp) Friday, September 17, 2010 - 16:40
2. Manne julle moet groot asb. hierdie huistoe bring met n bonus punt, Ek vrae julle met my kniee op die grond, dink bietjie terug en dink aan al die manne wat al in daardie truie gespeel het, Speel met trots en Speel 85 minute rugby, julle kan en julle gaan, Staan op as een. Julle het n blou bul nasie gater julle, speel met trots en voel vol met blydskap.
Posted by Royal Blood (Alberton) Friday, September 17, 2010 - 17:31
3. I Think Frans Ludeke is an extremely positive man.

I would've said The players know that a loss could mean that Griquas can move passed us on the log that our season could be over and the Lions will be proud sitters of the 3/4th spot.

But no, not he. With a coach like that there is no excuse to loose.
Posted by bloukreef (bloubergstrand) Friday, September 17, 2010 - 17:43
4. Ja nee dit gaan tough wees maar ek weet die bulle gaan die ding doen. En ons gaan vir eltan jantjies wys hoe dit voel om teen die bulle te speel. Sterkte !
Posted by bullsjumbo (port elizabeth) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 00:15
5. Ek het amper my alie vanaand gesien met 'n paar ou toppies, 'n 60ste verjaarsdag is nie vir sissies nie.

GEE DIT HORINGS BLOU BULLE!!!!!
Posted by Jimmy (Altyd Blou) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 03:59
6. Tellings vir vandag:

BULLE 17 - 29 welpies - Jou_ma
BULLE 32 - 23 welpies - Bloubulbilling
BULLE 31 - 25 welpies - BullsRBest
BULLE 27 - 19 welpies - LB
BULLE 34 - 27 welpies - Frik
BULLE 34 - 21 welpies - bullswp
BULLE 46 - 21 welpies - bullsjumbo
BULLE 35 - 20 welpies - BBB08
BULLE 36 - 23 welpies - zet
BULLE 32 - 18 welpies - BlousteBlou
BULLE 36 - 28 welpies - CR
BULLE 41 - 27 welpies - Lekkerblou
BULLE 33 - 22 welpies - CC
BULLE 34 - 24 welpies - phillip
BULLE 32 - 26 welpies - Bloumens
BULLE 30 - 21 welpies - bloubefoeterd
BULLE 28 - 19 welpies - Bl@deRunner
Posted by Ligblou Baron (Pretoria) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 04:18
7. Laat ons asseblief nie twee weke in 'n ry teen 'n katfamilie vasval nie.
Info het dit dat feitlik die hele huidige o/21-groep nog sonder kontrakte sit en/of gevra is om einde Okt te gaan - 'n gebrek aan fondse word as rede aangevoer..?
Waar gaan die BB se diepte vandaan kom as jy jou juniors nie behou nie..?
Posted by groentjie (Pretoria) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 06:35
8. Hi daar almal. Waar kom die WP nou vandaan. Die pumas het seker nou hulle rugby klaar gespeel. Hoe nader aan die uinde hoe meer sielkindug word die kompetiesie.
Bulle bly Bulle, die omeswaaiing in die span moet vandag verklap word.
Posted by Hannes 1 (Rustenburg) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 06:52
9. Smaak my toe die spel klas gegee word toe was jy op die rugby veld ou bul?Was dit nie Pumas wat julle gewen het nie so 3 weke gelede nie?hehehe...
Posted by stormerwp (Cape Town) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 10:07
10. Ons die wp was nog altyd daar,ons is net bokant julle op die log,kyk bietjie op.siedaar daar ons,jy kyk te veel af,.
Posted by stormerwp (Cape Town) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 10:08
11. Bulls will do it today...what people must remember is that all teams lift their game when they play the CHAMPS...they give everything they got...watch the Cheeetahs today they will be flat as a pancake...today, it will be hard but the bulls will win...thats for sure...the other teams have no players waiting to come back...ie springboks...this is their a team...when all the bulls are back...different story...so bulls fan endure the banter...two weeks time all hell will break loose
Posted by Rob (Benoni) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 10:23
12. Ek hoop en vertrou dat die foute die week uit geskakel is en ook dat Potgieter beter pale toe sal skop,want as ons nie vandag wen sal ons dit nie maak na die halfeindtondtes ons sal al vier wedstryde moet wen so asb Bulle ons is agter julle en my stem is nou nog seer soos ek agter julle laas naweek bloemfontein toe gery het en dit was nie lekker om terug pretoria toe te ry want ek het seer gehat in my hart , So asb wen vandag Telling Bulle 30 leeus 18
Posted by Corneluis (Pretoria) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 13:23
13. Nou toe Bulle wys die Transvalers wie is BAAS DOEN NET DIE REGTE DING.
Posted by Zetty (Ondangwa) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 13:44
14. Mense vandag word ons basies uit die curribeker geskakel. Ek is jammer maar ons verdien nie om in die semi's te wees nie.My hart se Bulle 24-12 maar my kop se Bulle 12 - 24 Leeus.

Hoekom ek se ons verdien nie om daar te wees nie is ons is nie op dieselfde vlak as die Sharks,Cheetahs,WP of Leeus nie. Die Pumas het ons gewen
Posted by Nitronic (Gee hulle horings!) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 16:03
15. Kan iemand asb. my telling bysit.

BULLE 40 - 26 welpies - Jimmy
Posted by Jimmy (Altyd Blou) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 16:21
16. En daar doen die BULLE dit..........................
Posted by Zetty (Ondangwa) Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 18:57
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