Young flankers for Bulls

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Super Rugby on 12 Feb 2014 at 12:26
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

Deon Stegmann joins Arno Botha on the sidelines as Bulls coach Frans Ludeke names his team to face the Sharks in Durban this Saturday. Last year’s Currie Cup captain Jono Ross will wear the number 6 jersey, as he and young Jacques du Plessis operate at flank, with captain Pierre Spies the veteran at 8.

Victor Matfield has been included on the bench, with Flip van der Merwe set to reprise the number 5 role he fulfilled for the Boks last year. Fiery young Paul Willemse will partner him in the second row.

At the back, Louis Fouche gets the nod to partner Francois Hougaard, with Handre Pollard also selected on the bench. Jan Serfontein and JJ Engelbrecht add Springbok experience in midfield, with fullback Jurgen Visser joining Fouche as the only non-test players in the backline.

Bulls – 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis FouchΓ©, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 HandrΓ© Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.


  • A very beatable Bulls team

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.02.14 12:27:34 by Baylion Reply
  • Not sure why the bench props are not starting……when will Ludeke learn that Kruger is a scrumming liability…..there is a reason Frik Kirsten was called up to the Bok squad on the EOYT, he is a good tighthead

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.02.14 12:31:51 by Saffex Reply
  • I know that you’re not supposed to underestimate your opponents, but this team doesn’t exactly strike fear into my heart. Mediocre from the front row to the back.

    I’d be more wary of a team where Pollard was starting rather than Fouche. Pollard is supposed to be the future and has about the same amount of experience at Super Rugby level as Fouche why not just get him into the starting team now rather than plodding forward with a VC quality flyhalf?

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.02.14 12:34:43 by Butchie34 Reply
  • I’m not all too keen on the whole Matfield thing, but it is cool to see his name there. Honestly, it’s not that bad of a team. The backline looks decent. The Sharks better not get ahead of themselves.

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.02.14 12:38:27 by David12246 Reply

  • Rob, did you see my comments on ‘Jaftha to handle Sharks-Bulls’? I still don’t know what the real story is.

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.02.14 12:39:49 by David12246 Reply

  • I smell a scrum onslaught! #sharkattack

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.02.14 12:40:09 by bchanakira2 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 3) : Fouche is not a bad player……better than Morne for a start……that Bulls side would have been far better had the bench props started……Marcel v/d Merwe and Frik Kirsten are quality props.

    I rate Visagie at hooker and they have plenty of physicality at lock with the impressive Willemse at 4 and ever improving Flip at 5.

    Ross is pretty handy at 6 and du Plessis at 7 (a lock) has the potential to be another Etzebeth or Steph du Toit.

    The Bulls have the best centre combo in the competition……Hougaard on song, has no equals…..Visser is very good at 15…….I dont rate the wings

    This Bulls side is no pushover

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.02.14 12:41:10 by Saffex Reply

  • @David12246 (Comment 4) : The backline is decent but is being controlled by a poor puppeteer. Like I said, rather than Pollard there. The Bulls will be more dangerous from the get go rather than waiting for the real playmaker to come on later.

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.02.14 12:41:36 by Butchie34 Reply
  • So the Bulls are def gonna run everything…well thats if they have any common sense. Having said that…Bulls and Common sense hmmm Sharks forwards should dominate- if not they need to take a hard look at themselves and their Bok credentials.

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.02.14 12:43:42 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 7) : I suppose you could say that Fouche is solid without being too flashy, but he has never struck me as being fantastic. The Bulls future is with Pollard, like I said let him start to build up the necessary experience now.

    I agree with you about the props and that the bench props would have been better to start with. Callie Visagie is also good but it’s always difficult to have a decent comparison when his opposition is Bismarck.

    The centres are good and also don’t rate the wings too highly.

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.02.14 12:44:19 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 9) : This is the Bulls you’re talking about… it’s up and unders all night even when they’re not working.

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.02.14 12:45:00 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 11) : If in doubt kick it…even if you are sure kick it. hahaha And if its not working kick it higher…and if all else fails hope Matfield steals a lineout

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.02.14 13:00:04 by SheldonK Reply

  • This is the team that that missed the currie cup semis, but with new centres. I know we mustnt get windgat but im finding it very difficult

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.02.14 13:00:41 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • @SheldonK (Comment 12) : Let Matfield steal a lineout and then kick it!

    You’ve got it 😈

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.02.14 13:01:05 by Butchie34 Reply
  • Jono Ross, Willemse and Flip are going to have to do a mountain of hard work to compensate for their soft team mates.

    Their lineout will function well.

    Fouche is an underrated player, the guy is as hard as nails.

    Centers are average, the one is a poor distributor the other is a pansy with little to no imagination or appreciation for the players around and outside him.

    Back 3 are decent enough. Visser will come into his own, rather enjoy the way he plays.

    The question is whether or not Visser/Fouche will be able to manage the game better than Lambie/Steyn/Marias.

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.02.14 13:10:20 by Talent Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 14) : Sounds like a fool proof plan…this coaching thing is easy man.

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.02.14 13:12:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • I would have let Engelbrecht start at 7 ahead of Du Plesis(the poof) πŸ˜† im waiting to be attacked by Saffex πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.02.14 13:13:11 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 15) : Given your take on the Bulls centres, I’d have to conclude you know stuff all about rugby!

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.02.14 14:06:41 by Saffex Reply

  • Props I believe is a mistake.
    Hopefully something happened between November and now in terms of the approach of the Bulls’ loosies, because they are going into a battle of note and they will be key. The backline have the ability to stand up and deliver the goods.

    Good luck to the Sharks as well. Hope it will be a good game.

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.02.14 14:11:33 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @Saffex (Comment 19) : πŸ˜†

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.02.14 14:25:28 by Talent Reply
  • @Saffex (Comment 19) : Jaque Du Plesis is soft too

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.02.14 14:25:48 by Talent Reply
  • My major worry going into the S15 this year is that everyone and his dog are predicting how well the Sharks will do. Even Voldy had to go plant his kiss of death – selecting the Sharks as one of his 3 major contenders to win the tournament.

    Hopefully the weight of expectation does not hamper the team.

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.02.14 14:28:47 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Saffex (Comment 19) : Hey, what do you know, seems my bulls team prediction was more accurate than yours! Your Round! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.02.14 14:31:33 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Saffex (Comment 19) : Can we make you into a meme? :mrgreen: πŸ˜†

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.02.14 14:32:00 by Talent Reply
  • we better go for an allout kill here. Need to put a big cricket score up on them

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.02.14 15:08:14 by Dunx Reply

  • @Talent (Comment 25) : Ja boet

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.02.14 15:25:02 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 7) : “the Bulls have the best centre combination in the competition”
    – the competition nogal!!

    That is the funniest comment I have ever seen on this site :mrgreen:

    When JJ improves his defensive record from the 3rd most missed tackles in Super Rugby in 2013 to back up his admittedly impressive ability with ball in hand I will concede that he is a decent centre.

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.02.14 15:48:00 by steve Reply

  • @steve (Comment 28) : Maybe if you woke up to the fact that his defensive stats were in fact better than Jean’s in the RC, then we would not be having this exchange…….moving from wing to centre is always going to take an adjustment and JJ improved his defensive stats throughout the year

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.02.14 16:07:25 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 7) :

    Yip, that was my initial feeling. They don’t really have the depth anymore, but this starting side could beat any side going into the game unprepared.

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.02.14 16:17:19 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Let’s hope there’s a kop dokter behind the scenes working his/her backside off, making sure the Sharks are mentally up for the challenge.

    I remember either ’08 or ’09, when the SHarks came back from an ultra successful overseas tour, to face a very average tjietas team. Sharks were hands down favourites, tjietas had no hope, yet they ended up beating us something like 36 – 6 (something ridiculous like that).

    But surely there’s no excuse, for the first game of the season, to succumb to the overwhelming expectation that you really should trample this sorry excuse of a bulls side.

  • Comment 31, posted at 12.02.14 17:12:15 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • When is the Sharks side being announced?

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.02.14 17:44:42 by Saffex Reply

  • Just read an article where Jake talks about Paul Anthonys input regarding his knowledge of the bulls calls, plays etc.

    “It will be interesting to see, with Paul’s input, whether the Bulls will be aware of that.”

    Now I can’t stop imagining the bulls coaching staff reading r365 and after a long pause going “Oh ****!” :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.02.14 17:46:30 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @gregkaos (Comment 33) : haha…. I can just picture it now.

    They probably have only just realised that he’s left.

    Paul? Paul? Waar’s daai klein bliksem nou?

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.02.14 18:53:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Saffex (Comment 7) : I don’t think Morne is the most entertaining player, match winner, but not a chance Louis Fouche is a better player than Morne Steyn. HELL NO!!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.02.14 19:22:45 by Ludz Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 35) : The bits I have seen of Fouche looked good to me……he is certainly better than Morne with ball in hand and defensively

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.02.14 19:47:05 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 29) : I have no problem in acknowledging his potential. I have said before that he is big and fast and asks questions on attack but my point is simply that he is some way from the finished article so to call them the “best centre pair in the competition” is nonsense unless the comment was meant tongue in cheek.
    JJ needs to improve his defence and distribution IMO before he can lay claim as Jacques successor – something we desperately need – and as much as I like to rev you about him no one will be more pleased than I if he does develop into a quality international centre.

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.02.14 20:28:01 by steve Reply

  • @steve (Comment 37) : Without doubt he is not the finished article, but as I have said his defence has improved somewhat and his stats prove that.

    I dont get the issue with his distribution……that is just complete nonsense……look no further than his classic beating of Savea on the outside and then draw a defender and executing a perfect long pass off his wrong hand to put Willie into space….not to mention him putting Kirchner into space for his try against Oz

    JJ has far better attacking attributes than Fourie ever had and I was a big fan of Fourie. JJ adds a whole new attacking dimension to outside centre play with his pace and feet.

    My call was not tongue in cheek……Serfontein is an awesome talent and JJ is a class act at 13….my best centre pairing in the comp…….if the Sharks played Frans at 12 and Esterhuizen or Fisher at 13, they could challenge the Bulls pair for that title…….but with Jordaan at 13, the Sharks are sold short……Jordaan is physically not up to centre play…….Fruean proved that last year

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.02.14 23:14:59 by Saffex Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 36) : Don’t under estimate Louis Fouche, just saying, he does have some talent.

  • Comment 39, posted at 13.02.14 08:35:55 by Uli Boelie Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Saffex (Comment 38) : I have the feeling that we are gonna see a centre pair of Frans and S’bura Sithole before long. Now that is a centre pairing that makes me excited.

  • Comment 40, posted at 13.02.14 08:54:05 by KingRiaan Reply

  • On a totally different note, I am so impressed with Tonderai Chavanga. I have always been a fan of his, but the dedication he is showing by training and playing without a contract is amazing. I would really like to see him and Mvovo/JPP play together. Especially him and Mvovo.

  • Comment 41, posted at 13.02.14 08:58:09 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @gregkaos (Comment 33) : The master of mind games πŸ˜†

    Wonder if we’ll get a team announcement before the game. Seems JW will be waiting for the last possible minute before he makes his match 23 public.

    Is there any rule in rugby/SR that forces a coach to make his match-day selection public?

  • Comment 42, posted at 13.02.14 09:01:37 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 42) : Isn’t the rule that they have to announce a team something like minimum 24 hours before the match? I might be mistaken

  • Comment 43, posted at 13.02.14 09:06:27 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @Saffex (Comment 38) : I reckon Engelbrecht is as good a tackler as Meyer Bosman.

    Fast, yes. Intelligent, no. Physically imposing, no.

    Its funny how a different set of rules apply for younger players. Bosman and Jordaan are poor defenders but Engelbrecht isn’t πŸ™„ .People have criticized Frans Steyn and Jean De Villiers for exactly what I’ve seen Serfontein do on numerous occasions.

  • Comment 44, posted at 13.02.14 09:20:23 by Talent Reply
  • Expect the Bulls to try catch us sleeping, they’ll come with a different game plan and will probably run the ball a lot, taking quick lineouts when they can. We have to be ready for anything and if there’s a change to their gameplan, we must quickly identify and deal with the Kingpins.

  • Comment 45, posted at 13.02.14 09:20:33 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • People believe whatever they want to believe πŸ˜† even if they are wrong and know stuff all about Rugby πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  • Comment 46, posted at 13.02.14 09:21:19 by Talent Reply
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 45) : I think that’s wise advise. Im not expecting the Sharks to dominate the Bulls. Its the first game of the season and the Bulls will feel like they have a point to prove.

  • Comment 47, posted at 13.02.14 09:23:52 by Talent Reply
  • While we are waiting for some news lets have a wager on who is going to be the first player carded this Super season.

    My money is on Paul Willemse.

  • Comment 48, posted at 13.02.14 09:59:14 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 48) : Boom Prinsloo gets my vote.

  • Comment 49, posted at 13.02.14 10:13:38 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 48) : I’ll take some of that action – Coenie Oosthuizen.

  • Comment 50, posted at 13.02.14 10:21:26 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Dean Greyling or Flip vd Merwe.

  • Comment 51, posted at 13.02.14 10:31:56 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 51) : I wouldn’t bet against Bissie or Keegan either.

    Werner Kruger could also eventually get a yellow for repeatedly collapsing the scrum. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 52, posted at 13.02.14 10:36:16 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 48) : Bismarck DuPlessis….for either a breakdown infringement or punching Pierre Spies at the toss haha

  • Comment 53, posted at 13.02.14 10:41:01 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 53) : If he does that he gets my vote for player of the season before the season’s even begun!

  • Comment 54, posted at 13.02.14 11:01:32 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Talent (Comment 47) : @GreatSharksays (Comment 45) : I agree, never ever understimate a franchise that has won 3 SR titles,the CC is nothing to go by as they don’t consider it that important anymore but as a breeding groung for new talent

  • Comment 55, posted at 13.02.14 11:02:32 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 55) : ground

  • Comment 56, posted at 13.02.14 11:04:16 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Letgo (Comment 30) : I agree

  • Comment 57, posted at 13.02.14 11:19:34 by benji Reply
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