Survival of the fittest at Loftus Versfeld

It will be two desperate sides running out at Loftus Versfeld tomorrow when the Vodacom Blue Bulls take on the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the Absa Currie Cup.Both coaches dismissed the notion that they are already fighting for survival, but the losing team on Saturday will be that much closer to a promotion-relegation series against Port Elizabeth’s very own Kings at the end of the season.

The winner will see the dream of a Premier Division play-off staying alive.

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar already indicated their state of mind.

“Our task is a simple one. We have to win every match from here on in if we want to play in the semifinals. Everyone understands that and accepts the fact that we only have ourselves to blame for this.”

Captain Dewald Potgieter talked about justifying the hard work that they have done so far this season.

“There are no second chances left. We have to turn this season around and justify all the hard work that we put in and reward the faith that has been placed in us.”

The return of two Springboks, Jano Vermaak and Jacques Potgieter will bolster the youngish team.

Both have a lot of experience.

Rugby 365’s prediction: This is probably the toughest game of the weekend to call. It is indeed a case of which team wants it most and desire is the most difficult aspect to predict. They will all tell you they want to win, but not until the game gets underway do you get to see who really wants it. The Blue Bulls, because they are at home, should be fancied to win by a narrow margin – less than 10 points.

The teams are:

Vodacom Blue Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Morné Mellett. Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Lionel Cronjé, 22 Ulrich Beyers.

Free State Cheetahs:15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Raymond Rhule, 12 Robert Ebersohn (captain), 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Tewis de Bruyn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Marcel van der Merwe. Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Carl Wegner, 19 Hendro Scholtz, 20 Sias Ebersohn, 21 Philip Snyman, 22 Andries Strauss.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistants: Lourens van der Merwe, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

 

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