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Flip van der MerweAkona NdunganeThe Vodacom Bulls team to play the Toyota Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday has been bolstered by the return of two experienced campaigners, with Akona Ndungane and Flip van der Merwe back in the starting line-up.

Official Bulls Media Release

Ndungane has recovered from the eye socket injury sustained against the Crusaders four weeks ago and will start in his 87th Super Rugby match for the three time champions, while Van der Merwe, who picked up a chest muscle injury in the same Christchurch clash, will appear in his 53rd, Super match, with six of those in Cheetahs colours earlier in his career.

They replace Jürgen Visser and Paul Willemse respectively, with Visser taking over at fullback from injured Zane Kirchner and Willemse moving to the bench from impact later in the match.

Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke also made a tactical switch from the side that suffered a last gasp defeat against the Brumbies two weeks ago, with Frik Kirsten starting at tight head and veteran prop Werner Kruger playing off the bench.

“We are happy with the squad rotation and with a couple of stalwarts still out injured, has given some of our youngsters good opportunities to play,” Ludeke said.

“We feel that we left some points on the road, but now have a good stretch back home where we play ourselves back into those important play-off positions,” Ludeke said.

“The rest did wonders to all and I am pleased with the way we prepared for this one.” The match could also see a first Vodacom Bulls appearance for scrumhalf Rudy Paige and utility back Ulrich Beyers, while Lions loan player Callie Visagie has been drafted in to give Willie Wepener a rest.

With Francois Hougaard still nursing an ankle injury, Paige will back-up Jano Vermaak and Beyers will replace a sore Francois Venter as a backs replacement.

Vodacom Bulls captain Pierre Spies admitted that it will be good playing in front of their home support again.

“We will certainly need all the support we can get against a Cheetahs side that is playing with a lot of confidence and momentum. History counts for nothing in this one, so past performances will have no bearing on this clash. We will have to front up from the first minute of play to the last. The Cheetahs play for 80 minutes and we need to make sure we play our style and on our terms.”


Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies (Captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Morné Mellett

Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Paul Willemse, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Ulrich Beyers.

7 Responses to Super Rugby: Flip and Akona back for the Bulls

  • 1

    I like the team, now they must just play like a TEAM

    But i still wonder what the coach see in Louis Fouche, especially if you think of the 2 Tukkies , Pollard and Du Plessis. I would have given them all the exposure possible, they are certainly the future. OK i think Pollard is in the u/20 squad

  • 2

    Is that 11 Springboks in the run on 15?
    If they dont beat the Freestate by 23 points the game should count as a loss for the,.

  • 3

    Cheetahs het 5 in ‘n ry gewen.
    Bulle het 3 in ‘n ry verloor.
    Cheetahs is 6de op die log.
    Bulle is 9de op die log.

    As die Cheetahs nie met 30 punte wen nie, is dit eintlik ‘n verloor vir hulle.

  • 4

    I think, unusually, the scrum is an area we can take on the Bulls as well as in the battle of the loosies. We need a competent ref though, thank God it’s not going to be Jas… ah fark…

  • 5

    @ ben-die-bul:

    Cheetahs het 4 van daai 5 teen die 4 swakste spanne gewen en een teen ‘n swak Stormers span op die dag
    Bulle het oorsee getoer met baie beserings maar het paar terug gekry en lekker extra week gerus

    As die Bulle met al hul Bokke nie die Vrystaat klop nie, fok weet dan maar jy kry die idee nê

  • 6

    2 @ Loosehead:
    3 @ ben-die-bul:
    5 @ Gena_ZA:
    Eish… it’s going to one moosa game…

    The team with the most points on the board when the final whistle blows, will win the game…. hehehe

  • 7

    Bulle lyk vir my stomp afgelope 3 jaar. Cheeters gaan hierdie een wen.


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