The Juskei Derby Set To Entertain

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Emirates Lions set to face log leaders the Vodacom Bulls in their derby at Emirates Airline Park today @19h00.

The Bulls are currently in the number 1 spot on the log with 15 points, while the Lions is in the 4th spot with 9 log points. However, although the Bulls will remain in the 1st place irrespective if they win or lose they have played one game more than the pack chasing them.

The experienced Burger Odendaal is back for the Lions and will partner the exciting Wandisile Simelane in the midfield in the only change to the Emirates Lions side. on Saturday evening. The Jukskei River derby starts at 19h00.

Odendaal, a former Vodacom Bulls captain, resumes his promising midfield combination with Simelane, who is one of competition’s form players at the moment. That means Dan Kriel moves to the bench to make way for Odendaal in the midfield.

Ivan van Rooyen, Emirates Lions head coach admitted the impressive Bulls pack, especially in the scrums will ask a lot of questions to his team.

“Our scrum is getting better every week, It is going to be a great battle on Saturday as both teams use the scrum as a weapon to get penalties and attack from.” van Rooyen said.

The match is poised for an exciting contest between the two Gauteng neighbours. Last weekend, the Pride of Jozi won their first match of the competition, with Simelane and Elton Jantjies outstanding on the night.

The Vodacom Bulls, on the other hand, continued with their recent good form by outplaying the DHL Stormers by 39-6 in a dramatic encounter at Loftus where the threat of a dangerous thunderstorm brought an end the game in the second half.

Walt Steenkamp has been named at lock and will make his debut for the Vodacom Bulls when they travel to Johannesburg to face the Emirates Lions, in the only change to their team that put in a great performance last weekend against the DHL Stormers in Pretoria.

“The players have done well in correcting the ship after a slow start against Griquas and the Cheetahs, which is testament to their desire to go the whole nine yards and secure silverware,” said Jake White, the Vodacom Bulls’ Director of Rugby.

Emirates Lions: 15 Gianni Lombard; 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Courtnall Skosan; 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morné van den Berg; 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole. Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.

Vodacom Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.