Potgieter back for Vodacom Bulls to face Crusaders

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Vodacom Super Rugby winner, Jacques Potgieter, is back in the Vodacom Bulls team to play the Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Potgieter started in the opening two matches of the season before he picked up an injury and returned off the bench in the last two of the season. He replaces Jannes Kirsten at flank, with the latter moving to the replacement bench.

Jan Serfontein, who was rested last week, is also named on the bench.

Vodacom Bulls coach, Nollis Marais, said the team enters the contest with a lot of self-belief.

“Rugby is not only played on the field, but in the minds of teams as well. We lacked some belief when results did not reflect our effort earlier in the season, but that is not an issue any more. The last two wins confirmed that we can indeed compete against anyone,” Marais said.

“I have always said that the team is better than the results showed and the last two wins started to show that. We have a massive hurdle to overcome on Saturday though, as the Crusaders have been setting a number of benchmarks to other teams this year. They remain a classy side and despite not having Sam Whitelock and Kieran Read available for this match, remains one of the top teams in the competition.”

Vodacom Bulls captain, Adriaan Strauss, said the energy of playing a world class opponent will be high, as will be the opportunity to face them at Loftus Versfeld.

“We have certainly had some classics here against the Crusaders. We do have the ability to bring out the best in each other and these are the type of games you want to be involved in. We know what is at stake and everyone is very keen to deliver a performance that we all can be proud of. We enjoyed the bye last weekend, but now it is time to go out there and deliver the goods.”

The team to play the Crusaders (with Super Rugby caps and points) is: Warrick Gelant (12, 5), Travis Ismaiel (25, 40), Jamba Ulengo (18, 30), Jesse Kriel (38, 15), Burger Odendaal (26, 15), Tian Schoeman (29, 102), Piet van Zyl (75, 65), Hanro Liebenberg (15, 15), Jacques Potgieter (60, 40), Nick de Jager (12, 5), Lood de Jager (46, 10), Jason Jenkins (21, 15), Trevor Nyakane (77), Adriaan Strauss (138, c), Pierre Schoeman (17, 5). Replacements:  Jaco Visagie (13, 0), Lizo Gqoboka (19, 5), Jacobie Adriaanse (31, 0), RG Snyman 20, 10), Jannes Kirsten (21, 10), Rudy Paige (41, 5), Francois Brummer (21, 128), Jan Serfontein (53, 75).

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