PRETORIA – Bulls coach Pote Human said he was worried about the Chiefs hitting their straps in their clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday despite the New Zealand side’s woeful start to the season.
The Chiefs lost four of their first five matches, including heavy defeats to the Brumbies, Crusaders and Sunwolves before their 23-23 draw with the Hurricanes last weekend.
“They have an awesome side. If they click, they will be difficult, so I am worried that they will click on Saturday,” Human said on Wednesday.
“Somewhere they must find their rhythm, and I just hope it is not on Saturday.”
Human made a few minor changes to the team that beat the Sharks 37-14 before their first bye weekend of the season.
Namibian fullback Divan Rossouw was named as a late replacement for Warrick Gelant, who suffered a shoulder injury in training.
The return to fitness of a few regular starters also directed Human’s selections, with inside centre Burger Odendaal making his comeback in place of Dylan Sage.
Loose forward Tim Agaba had to make way for Ruan Steenkamp on the side of the scrum.
There will be no Vodacom Bulls rugby this weekend but this ‘Specmagic’ try will remind you to be at Loftus next weekend when the Vodacom Bulls take on the Chiefs!
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) March 14, 2019
Human stuck with the same second-row combination of Jason Jenkins and Hanro Liebenberg, despite the return of Eli Snyman, who will play off the bench.
“Both Burger and Ruan will have very important roles to play on Saturday, as we expect the Chiefs to come from all angles,” Human said. “They have nothing to lose, and we need to be very clinical in certain areas if we want to contain them.
“I expect Dylan and Tim to make significant contributions when they take to the field later in the match.”
Divan Rossouw, Cornal Hendricks, Jesse Kriel, Burger Odendaal, Rosko Specman, Handré Pollard (captain), Ivan van Zyl, Duane Vermeulen, Jannes Kirsten, Ruan Steenkamp, Jason Jenkins, Hanro Liebenberg, Trevor Nyakane, Schalk Brits, Lizo Gqoboka.
Bench: Corniel Els, Simphiwe Matanzima, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Eli Snyman, Tim Ababa, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Dylan Sage.
Vodacom Bulls vs Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld
Saturday 23 March 2019 l Kick-off 15h05
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) March 20, 2019