Vodacom Bulls Should Bag An “Easy” 5 Log Points Against Zebre


The South African Vodacom United Rugby Championship franchises will put their skills to the test in Europe for the first time in 2022 this weekend as all four sides face international opposition on short one-week tours after four intense rounds of derbies in South Africa.

Zebre Parma will kick off an action-packed weekend of matches on Friday when they host the Vodacom Bulls in Parma at 19h30.

The Vodacom Bulls have the "easiest" match-up of the four South African Clubs and should win this match against a desperate Zebre side who is still looking for their first win of the 2021/2022 URC season.

The Vodacom Bulls will target their match against Zebre Parma to bounce back from their defeat against the Cell C Sharks and build winning momentum after securing victories in two of their four matches this year, but they will be wary of the fact that the hosts have their backs against the wall after failing to win any of their seven matches so far this season.

The Vodacom Bulls have made three changes to their team that will take on Zebre Parma in a Vodacom United Rugby Championship Round 10 match at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Friday night.

A forced change following the suspension of experienced pivot, Morné Steyn, who will miss the next three matches for the Vodacom Bulls, sees the reliable Chris Smith earning a starting berth in the No10 jersey. He will form a half-back pairing with Embrose Papier, who is promoted from the bench from the side’s previous match against the Emirates Lions a fortnight ago.

The versatile Kurt-Lee Arendse makes his way back into the starting XV, where he will start at fullback, forming a formidable back trio, alongside the experienced Cornal Hendricks and explosive Madosh Tambwe, who will be the starting wingers.

Continuity among the forwards sees no changes being made in the starting pack.

Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, said ahead of the game: “We are looking forward to being back in action in the Vodacom URC, following a week’s break after our previous match against the Cell C Sharks,” said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.

“We are expecting a tough challenge against Zebre Parma, in their own backyard at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi. We are looking forward to an entertaining game of rugby, with our aim, of course, being an effort to return home with another overseas win under our belts.”

Zebre Parma will be keen for a return to action after Storm Eunice dashed their plans for a trip to Cardiff last week.

Lock Gabriele Venditti who made his debut with Zebre Parma last season will make his first start of the season. Enrico Lucchin has also been released from the Italian squad to play

The Italian side, though, are without a URC victory since they beat the Dragons a year ago this weekend and have lost all seven of their league encounters so far this season.

Liam Mitchell said: “As a team we are working to have greater clarity and sharing in our game plan.

"We have many talented players and if we can all move in the same direction together we will achieve special results.

"For this reason, we are focusing on making sure that all players understand and master the same game plan."

Weather: 11° Celsius, cloudy with light rain expected and NNW moderate wind.
Prediction: Vodacom Bulls by 12.

The Vodacom Bulls: 15. Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Harold Vorster, 11. Madosh Tambwe, 10. Chris Smith, 9. Embrose Papier, 8. Elrigh Louw, 7. Arno Botha, 6. Marcell Coetzee (c), 5. Ruan Nortje, 4. Walt Steenkamp, 3. Jacques van Rooyen,2. Johan Grobbelaar, 1. Gerhard Steenekamp. Replacements: 16. Bismarck du Plessis, 17. Simphiwe Matanzima, 18. Robert Hunt, 19. Janko Swanepoel, 20. WJ Steenkamp, 21. Keagan Johannes, 22. Ruan Mostert, 23. Canan Moodie.

Zebre Parma: 15. Junior Laloifi, 14. Jacopo Trulla, 13. Erich Cronjé, 12. Timothy O’Malley, 11. Asaeli Tuivuaka, 10. Antonio Rizzi, 9. Marcello Violi, 8. Giovanni Licata, 7. Iacopo Bianchi, 6. Maxime Mbandà, 5. Liam Mitchell, 4. Potu Junior Leavasa, 3. Eduardo Bello, 2. Oliviero Fabiani (captain), 1. Paolo Buonfiglio. Replacements: 16. Luca Bigi, 17. Daniele Rimpelli, 18. Ion Neculai, 19. Gabriele Venditti, 20. Luca Andreani, 21. Guglielmo Palazzani, 22. Enrico Lucchin, 23. Giulio Bisegni.