Bulls players go under scrutiny


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The Bulls, who start off the defence ot their Super 14 campaign title against the Stormers at Newlands on February 16, travel to Wellington on Saturday to play the Boland Kavaliers in a match where new coach Frans Ludeke will probably learn little that is not yet known to him.

In a match that will expectedly be dominated by the Bulls, it will be about removing the summer cobwebs, finding rhythm and executing what has been ingrained during training for the Bulls.

Ludeke’s focus as far as performances are concerned, will probably turn to the lock and fullback positions.

With two Springbok locks in Bakkies Botha and utility forward Danie Rossouw not available, the form of especially Wilhelm Steenkamp and his partner Fudge Mabeta, a newcomer at this level, will be under scrutiny.

The only other newcomer in the starting team is fullback Zane Kirchner, who won the Vodacom Cup for Griquas last year when he scored in the last second of the final clash against the Blue Bulls.

It will probably be difficult to gauge his performance under pressure, as it is expected the Kavaliers will offer scant resistance, but for Ludeke it will be important to gauge the striking power of the man from Kimberley who is now the frontrunner for the fullback position vacated by Johan Roets’ retirement.

The match in Wellington will also be a great test at adapting to the weather conditions for the Bulls, who have had rainy conditions for the past 10 days or so.

In Wellington the temperature is predicted to reach 38 degrees on Saturday.

The Bulls side, with newcomer prop Dean Greyling and Okkie Kruger completing the reserve list after storming displays against the Valke for the second-stringers on Thursday night, is:

Zane Kirchner, Marius Delport, JP Nel, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana, Morn’ Steyn, Fourie du Preez (capt.), Pedrie Wannenburg, Wikus van Heerden, Hilton Lobberts, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Fudge Mabeta, Rayno Gerber, Derick Ku’n, Jaco Engels.

Reserves: James vd Walt, Werner Kruger, Okkie Kruger, Juandr’ Kruger, Deon Stegmann, Dewald Potgieter, Francois Hougaard, Derick Hougaard, Danwel Demas, Johan Mametsa, Tiger Mangweni, Dean Greyling.

Sapa – Super14.com

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