Griquas, with just one away win to their names this season – a shock 21-18 triumph over the Sharks in Durban at the beginning of September, are not expected to halt the momentum of a two-match winning streak for the Bulls, but home coach Frans Ludeke is taking nothing for granted.
“Griquas, throughout the season, have been very competitive and they had two very good wins against the EP Kings. Especially in that last game, they had a very good second half and used broken-field very well. They have a strong pack and a good rolling maul, and it is going to be a huge battle on the gain-line and in the set-pieces,” Ludeke warned.
Griquas coach Hawies Fourie will be worried that injuries to five frontline players will have robbed his team of their momentum after the win over the Kings, but for Griquas tonight’s game is all about winning and giving themselves a chance of finishing in the top six and therefore avoiding any relegation playoffs.
“Injuries have plagued us this year, it is a problem with which any union struggles, but we’ve gotten the short end of the stick this year. It makes preparations very difficult and it disrupts any momentum we might have had.
“We still want to finish in the top six and we need to put in a winning performance against the Blue Bulls if we want to achieve that. But it is going to be difficult, now even more so in light of the many injuries. Hopefully we can produce some magic come Saturday,” Fourie said in verifying his concerns.
Blue Bulls – 15-Ulrich Beyers, 14-Akona Ndungane, 13-William Small-Smith, 12-Burger Odendaal, 11-Bjorn Basson, 10-Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9-Piet van Zyl, 8-Jono Ross, 7-Jacques du Plessis, 6-Deon Stegmann, 5-Grant Hattingh, 4-Paul Willemse, 3-Marcel van der Merwe, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 1-Morne Mellet. Reserves: 16-Callie Visagie, 17-Werner Kruger, 18-Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19-Wiaan Liebenberg, 20-Rudy Paige, 21-Handre Pollard, 22-Jesse Kriel.
Griquas –15-Jacquin Jansen, 14-Danie Dames, 13-PJ Vermeulen, 12-Jonathan Francke, 11-Ederies Arendse, 10-Francois Brummer, 9-Tian Meyer, 8-Ruaan Lerm, 7-Jonathan Adendorf, 6-Marnus Schoeman, 5-Jaco Nepgen, 4-Hugo Kloppers, 3-Maks van Dyk, 2-Martin Bezuidenhout, 1-Simon Westraadt. Replacements: 16-Ryno Barnes, 17-Wesley Cloete, 18-RJ Liebenberg, 19-Burger Schoeman, 20-Rudi van Rooyen, 21-Dean Grant, 22-Doppies la Grange.