Having a look at a story on another site that goes through the team Frans Ludeke is expected to name for Saturday’s clash in Cape Town, it makes one realise that the Bulls still have plenty of guns in their armoury.
A front row of Steenkamp, Gerber and Kuun? Ok, so the latter has hardly set the world alight at hooker, but once Chilli comes back, that will be a formidable combination. And only one white oke? Progress… coming from the most unlikely of places. Pakslae is fit to start at four, so there’s lots of experience there and his likely partner, Wilhelm Steenkamp, has done it all at age group level. A loose trio of Wikus van Heerden, Pedrie Wannenberg and Deon Stegmann looks to have plenty of pace and will suit the new laws pretty well. Stegmann is another youngster who has yet to play at this level, but has been very exciting in age group and Currie Cup rugby. Let’s not forget that Pierre Spies (maybe) and Bakkies Botha (definitely) still have to come in. Crowd favourite Richard Bands is probably lurking in the shadows too.
Now, you can say what you like about the Bulls backline, but if nothing else, it does have a settled look. Positions 9 through 13 will be exactly the same guys that played (and won) last year: du Preez, Hougaardt, Habana, Olivier and Nel. Not the most dynamic or creative attacking axis, but they know how to kick and to bludgeon, so we just need to see to what extent the ELV’s reduce their effectiveness.
It’s about bloody time John Mametsa got a game at this level – he may not be big, but he is quick and he is clever and he knows how to score tries. He is devastating on the counter attack and a real trier on defence, so I predict he will do well. New signing Zane Kirchner should provide a distinctly un-Roets-like attacking dimension at fullback to complete the team.
Stormers, get ready, because you won’t take this team easily. And four out of the 15 are non-white, meaning the Bulls really are flying the flag this season in terms of transformation. Something the Cheetahs could certainly learn from.Tweet