The Blue Bulls saved themselves some blushes on Tuesday when their internal disciplinary panel cleared hooker Derick Kuun of any wrongdoing after Kuun received a yellow card for a professional foul in Saturday’s victory against the Sharks.
Kuun had to sit in front of this self-elected panel, which consists of coach Frans Ludeke, captain Wikus van Heerden, vice-captain Wynand Olivier and manager Wynie Strydom, according to Vata Ngobeni, writing for IOL.
It is a new rule within the Blue Bulls camp to rid the team of ill-discipline and the handing of unnecessary penalties to the opposition.
Kuun escaped punishment after Springbok loose forward Hilton Lobberts received a hefty suspension after being yellow carded in the match against Western Province two weeks ago.
Lobberts is serving a two-week suspension and can be considered for selection only for the Valke game in two weeks.
The availability of Kuun means that Ludeke will maintain the status quo in his starting line-up.
Two weeks ago, the Blue Bulls were concerned about their lack of effectiveness at the point of breakdown, which they have now rectified, but that was followed by a major concern at the loss of valuable possession in the line-outs.
That has also been sorted out with Danie Rossouw moving from flank to lock to partner up with the young Wilhelm Steenkamp, while Wikus van Heerden, Deon Steg-mann and Pedrie Wannenburg are likely to be tasked with the job of keeping and stealing possession.
“We have a nice mixture of youth and experience with four youngsters in the pack in Werner Kruger, Derick Kuun, Wilhelm Steenkamp and Deon Stegmann, and some older heads in Wikus, Pedrie, Danie and Jaco. You do need experience but also the enthusiasm, vitality and hunger of younger players within a team,” said Blue Bulls defensive coach John McFarland.
Ludeke, with his policy of consistency, seems to be content if not hopeful that his backs can and will get better the longer they play together.
The coach will not change the order of things yet even with a fit again Fourie du Preez ready to claim back his No 9 jersey.
Du Preez is likely to start off the bench after the medical team gave Ludeke the go ahead to field the Springbok scrumhalf and Bulls Super 14 captain.
“We’ve tightened up our game and we had a good look at ourselves after the loss to Western Province. There is a good vibe among the players and we have built up a good run of consistency.
“We must maintain our improvement from last week and look to play even better,” said McFarland, who said the Blue Bulls were aware of the pitfalls of under-estimating the Cheetahs, whose triumphs in domestic rugby in the past three years is an indication that they are a side to be taken seriously.
“They are a proud side and have played consistently well for three-and-a-half years. Their strength is a strong pack of forward and their attacking game. It will be a hard challenge against them. They didn’t do badly over the weekend and only lost by six points to Western Province who are playing good rugby,” said McFarland.
Probable Blue Bulls
Tiger Mangweni; Akona Ndungane, Marius Delport, Wynand Olivier, John Mametsa; Morne Steyn, JP Joubert; Pedrie Wannenburg, Wikus van Heerden (captain), Deon Stegmann; Danie Rossouw, Wilhelm Steenkamp; Werner Kruger, Derick Kuun, Jaco Engels. Reserves: Bandisa Maku, Rayno Gerber, Francois van Schouwenburg, Jacques Burger, Fourie du Preez, Burton Francis.Tweet