Bulls named for Polokwane fling

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Super Rugby on 29 Jan 2014 at 14:29
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Despite tidings of doom and gloom relating to their depth – or lack thereof – Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has managed to name two rather strong line-ups for Saturday’s double-header warm-up against the Lions and Stormers in Polokwane.

While it hasn’t exactly been said, it’s clear that the first selection, to play the Lions, represents the second stringers, while the shadow first team will take on the Stormers later in the day.

That Vodacom Cup-strength side comprises the core of Bulls youth that we’ve grown used to over several seasons, with Handre Pollard seemingly set to start the season in Louis Fouche’s shadow. Piet van Zyl also finds himself with the second stringers, with Francois Hougaard preferred at scrumhalf in the main side. A number of the Currie Cup recruits that came over from the Kings also find themselves in this selection, with Vleis Engelbrecht and David Bulbring starting, while Bandi Maku and Waylon Murray bench. Jacques-Louis Potgieter will also play off the bench for the second-string side.

It’s the first team that will draw most of the attention, though, as Pierre Spies leads a combination not lacking in big names. Bok centres Jan Serfontein and JJ Engelbrecht join Bok wingers in Akona Ndungane and Bjorn Basson to form a potent-looking three-quarter line, although the relative inexperience of Jurgan Visser and Fouche at 15 and ten respectively will counter that. Grant Hattingh and Callie Visagie are the “new” faces – at least from a Super Rugby point of view – in the starting pack, while it is perhaps a bit surprising that Bok tourist Frik Kirsten once again looks to be behind Werner Kruger in the pecking order at tighthead prop.


Blue Bulls (to play the Golden Lions): 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Ulrich Beyers, 11 Jesse Kriel, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: Bandise Maku, Juan Schoeman, Hencus van Wyk, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Wiaan Liebenberg, Rudi Paige, Tian Schoeman, Waylon Murray, Ryan Nell, Jacques-Louis Potgieter.

Bulls (to play the Stormers): 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: Bandise Maku, Marcel van der Merwe, Hencus van Wyk, Jono Ross, Rudi Paige, Handré Pollard, Ulrich Beyers, Travis Ismaiel.


  • Rudi Paige the reserve scrum half for both games?

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.01.14 15:02:40 by Bump Reply
  • @Bump (Comment 1) : same thing for maku

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.01.14 15:05:52 by Poisy Reply
  • Not a bad ‘first’ team but a couple of injuries in certain positions could hurt them.

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.01.14 15:13:20 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • No Matfield. Wasn’t this going to be his come back game?

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.01.14 15:42:00 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 4) : apparently they were just blessed with a third child, so no rugby for him this weekend

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.01.14 15:43:49 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • the mercury this morning says he is still waiting for the go ahead from saru

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.01.14 07:12:41 by Dunx Reply

  • Not a bad team; even the 2nd team looks good. Lots of people talking about small-smith at 13. Young lock P Willemse are exciting. Frontrow and flyhalf are weak spots, but these guys have to start sometime

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.01.14 08:40:52 by KingsArmy Reply

  • Bongi looked good in last years cc, busy hooker. Hopefully jlp can come through at 10 for bulls

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.01.14 08:46:53 by KingsArmy Reply

  • Numbers 6-10 will be VERY rusty with almost 8 months of injuries for most of them. But very glad they are back!! 🙂
    The props are still a mystery though with the best props playing in the b-team.

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.01.14 08:57:08 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • The Bulls backs are very decent if maybe just inexperienced and not the best defenders but offer lots on attack. The front 5 is where the Bulls season will be determined and on paper it looks a bit soft but time will tell

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.01.14 09:01:08 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 9) : Think they giving the snr props first option to prove they want it, the younger props will probably over take them as season go on…..

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.01.14 09:08:45 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 10) : When last did I hear someone say the bulls backs are better than their forwards…..probably never! Lol

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.01.14 09:11:09 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 12) : You probably right there. WHo knew the Bulls actually picked backline players haha

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.01.14 09:48:07 by SheldonK Reply

  • J visser is full of running. Ismail looks like a nice big wing and Kriel[KZN] looks also exciting.

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.01.14 09:54:51 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 14) : Vissr is good but ive heard he a very decent 10- wonder why they havnt used him there, but maybe they have at practise and it didnt go well. Im not convinced my Ismael to be honest. Kriel looks good, just think he is a better 15 than wing.

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.01.14 10:16:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : yes diff to say if some youngsters like ismael will make it big or not. P jordaan was great at jnr level, but is taking his time to shine. Yes kriel is good at 15, maybe they just bringing him through slowly

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.01.14 12:09:53 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 16) : Yeh thats my feeling with Kriel, but also hard to discard Visser who was probably their best player in CC. I dont think Louis Fouche is any good to be honest, and stands way to deep. I would have played Pollard from the start.

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.01.14 12:22:34 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 16) : He was tried in the currie cup when the flyhalf would be subbed with a wing/full back and he would move to flyhalf. His place and line kicking wasn’t too great though.

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.01.14 12:27:00 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 18) : Sorry, meant to reply to comment 15, not 16.

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.01.14 12:27:45 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 18) : You would think thats something that could be easily worked on that, well the line kicking anyway. He has a big boot and his clearing from 15 is usually good. And he likes to take the ball to the line

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.01.14 12:50:06 by SheldonK Reply

  • Not to sure what to make of Pollard, the kid got some serious talent. Lots of pressure on him though. Tukkies also used him more at 12 than 10. Maybe bulls use Jlp and fouche, and let Pollard play vc and bring him through next year in a more settled team. We’ll see in a couple of weeks…..

  • Comment 21, posted at 30.01.14 13:15:09 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 21) : To be honest when i saw Pollard play 12 for the 1st time i thought he needs to make that his position. Would give the bulls a whole new dimension. Trouble is what do you do with Serfontein and Engelbrecht. Id shift them 1 over to be honest so Pollard 12, Serfontein 13, Engelbrecht 11

  • Comment 22, posted at 30.01.14 13:27:38 by SheldonK Reply

  • Pollard hasn’t lived up to the hype created around him. Maybe the pressure on him to perform was to much.

  • Comment 23, posted at 30.01.14 13:34:23 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 23) : A bit harsh to say he hasn’t lived up yet. Still young, and bulls cc team was always going to go backwards. S15 not going to be any easier. That’s why I hope he plays vc and cc this year mostly.

  • Comment 24, posted at 30.01.14 17:47:00 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @KingsArmy (Comment 24) : no, it’s completely fair to say he hasn’t lived up to it…. bear in mind this is the oke that was picked for the Baby Boks while still at school, ahead of Fred Zeilinga. He has flopped quite spectacularly given all the hype that follows him everywhere he goes.

  • Comment 25, posted at 30.01.14 17:56:24 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : Well that’s ur opinion, I still think he hasn’t done anything wrong yet. He’ll make it, probably big as well.

  • Comment 26, posted at 31.01.14 10:22:26 by KingsArmy Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : In all fairness, even Dan Carter would play mediocre with Rudi Paige as scrumhalf.

  • Comment 27, posted at 31.01.14 12:51:50 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 27) : very clever. Turning the Lambie argument against us!

  • Comment 28, posted at 31.01.14 12:55:08 by robdylan Reply
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