When Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar names his side for Saturday’s semi-final later today, don’t expect there too be much in the way of changes from the outfit that beat the Lions in Johannesburg last week.
The coach feels his side is on a bit of a roll and is thus loathe to tamper with his winning formula. According to a report on Beeld, the only position where there is any real chance of a change is at scrumhalf, where the coach is weighing up whether Bok winger Francois Hougaard (who was first choice scrumhalf for the Bulls in Super Rugby this year) should come in t replace Jano Vermaak, or whether it would be better to leave him on the bench.
Being shuffled around the Bok backline has done Hougaard no favours, with his play at scrumhalf during the test series against England, as well as the early stages of the Rugby Championship, seeing him lose the number 9 jersey to Ruan Pienaar. He was duly picked at left wing for the Boks, but it’s interesting to note that as the test incumbent in that position, he’s nevertheless not considered good enough for an automatic start at left wing for his province at Currie Cup level.
The only other slight uncertainty is at hooker, where it is understood that Pienaar was keen to pick Chiliboy Ralepelle ahead of Willie Wepener. It seems as though concerns over the former’s fitness, after a long spell out with a knee injury, may force the coach’s hand.Tweet