Vodacom Bulls Need A win To Secure Place In Currie Cup Semi-finals

 

The Toyota Cheetahs will be gunning for a win against the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday at 15h00. They currently trail the Cell C Sharks by two points in the standings.

If the Toyota Cheetahs loses at Loftus Versfeld and fails to obtain any bonus points, the Cell C Sharks will head into their final league fixture against DHL Western Province in Cape Town with the knowledge that they have already secured a top-place finish.

The home team needs a win to secure their place in a semi-final to be played next weekend.

Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby, Jake White has made a few rotation changes to his matchday 23.

At the front, Mornay Smith (tighthead prop) swaps places with Francois Klopper who goes to the impact squad, whilst Ruan Nortje (Lock) comes in for Janko Swanepoel who will also get a chance to run from the bench. Cyle Brink (open-side flanker) returns to the matchday 23 having fully recovered from the flu and he will line up alongside Elrigh Louw who will run out at eight with Nizaam Carr shifting to the impact squad.

The rest of the forwards’ pack will see Gerhard Steenekamp (loosehead prop), Jan-Hendrik Wessels (hooker), Ruan Vermaak (Lock) and Marcell Coetzee (blind-side flanker) all add their weight as the Vodacom Bulls looks to confirm their final four berth.

In the backline, Morné Steyn will start at flyhalf with Chris Smith primed for a run from the bench. Steyn will pair up with Embrose Papier at halfback. Both David Kriel (left) and Cornal Hendricks (right) will get to run out on the wings whilst Johan Goosen’s services have also been retained at fullback. The only other change at the back is that of returning Harold Vorster (inside), pairing up with Stedman Gans (outside) at centre.

The Vodacom Bulls will have fresh legs to call upon in the form of Bismarck Du Plessis who slots into the impact squad alongside Kloppers, Swanepoel, Carr, and Smith. Simphiwe Matanzima, Keagan Johannes and Wandile Simelane have all been retained from the week before.

The Toyota Cheetahs made only one change to the team that beat Airlink Pumas a week ago.

“It was a massive win for us, not to secure a home semi-final but as a team,” Izak van der Westhzuizen said after the win over the Pumas last weekend. “If we can just keep on building the momentum we got on the weekend. It’s something positive going on this week.”

“It’s a big game, and it’s not going to be easy to play against the Bulls at home. We know what they bring, but we will keep the same consistency and energy from the weekend game,” said Toyota Cheetah’s fullback, Tapiwa Mafura.

“It’s very important for us to pitch up with the right attitude and be ready for the game.”

Coach Hawies Fourie announced his team with a change from last week:

Siya Masuku will replace Ruan Pienaar, who is staying behind in Bloemfontein due to a family bereavement.

“I have sympathy with Ruan and his family, and we support him. For the Cheetahs, it is important to us to put the family first,” Said coach Hawies.

Louis van der Westhuizen will provide cover on the bench for Marnus van der Merwe. Zinedine Booysen is new on the bench.

Teams

Vodacom Bulls: 15 Johan Goosen, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 David Kriel, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marcell Coetzee (c), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp. Replacements: 16 Simphiwe Matanzima, 17 Bismarck du Plessis, 18 Francois Klopper, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Wandisile Simelane.

Toyota Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Cohen Jasper, 10 Sibabalo Masuku, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Friedle Olivier, 7 Sibabalo Qoma, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete (captain), 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jeandre Rudolph, 20 George Cronje, 21 Daniel Maartens, 22 Zinedine Booysen, 23 Robert Ebersohn.