The Vodacom Bulls Are Still Looking For Their First Win Of 2020

Photo by Jorina Raath/

The Vodacom Bulls is still looking for their first win in 2020 on Saturday at Loftus Versveld. The Blues only had one win against the Waratahs (32-12), but the Vodacom Bulls will take confidence from the fact that out of their nine previous home matches against the Blues, they have managed to win six and drawn one.

Jaco Visagie (hooker) and Johnny Kotze (outside centre) will both earn their 50th Vodacom Super Rugby caps. Visagie made his tournament debut for the Vodacom Bulls back in 2015, while Kotze made his debut in the colours of the DHL Stormers, also in 2015, before moving to Pretoria.

Vodacom Bulls head coach Pote Human has selected a relatively unchanged team with Wian Vosloo the only new player in the starting lineup, as a replacement for Abongile Nonkontwana at looseforward. 

Human, also made two changes on the bench, where Corniel Els (hooker) and Ruan Steenkamp (looseforward) are set to make their first appearance this season.

The 2.02m lock Jacob Pierce earns his third cap and first start of the season alongside captain Patrick Tuipulotu in the middle row, which allows the 1.98m Tom Robinson to move to his preferred loose forward role. He joins combative USA World Cup flanker Tony Lamborn and in-form No 8 Hoskins Sotutu.

Otere Black has recovered from a pre-season injury to take his place at flyhalf allowing Harry Plummer his first chance in the midfield, while Stephen Perofeta impressed sufficiently when moved back to fullback last week to get a start in that role.

It means the Blues have three kicking options and some outstanding attacking flair, including Emoni Narawa, who starts on the right-wing after three caps off the bench. 

There is a powerful look to the bench with lively hooker Kurt Eklund, All Blacks Ofa Tuungafasi and Dalton Papalii, a potential debut for aggressive lock Aaron Carroll, and the experience of TJ Faiane and Matt Duffie.


The teams:

Vodacom Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Jeandré Rudolph, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka. Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.

Blues: 15. Stephen Perofeta, 14. Emoni Narawa, 13. Joe Marchant, 12. Harry Plummer, 11. Mark Telea, 10. Otere Black, 9. Jonathan Ruru, 8. Hoskins Sotutu, 7. Tony Lamborn, 6. Tom Robinson, 5. Jacob Pierce, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3. Sione Mafileo, 2. James Parsons, 1. Karl Tu’inukuafe. Replacements: 16. Kurt Eklund, 17. Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18. Ofa Tuungafasi, 19. Aaron Carroll, 20. Dalton Papalii, 21. Sam Nock, 22. TJ Faiane, 23. Matt Duffie.