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Boks Duo Out For Bulls Quarter Final Clash Against Benetton

  • June 7, 2024
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Boks Duo Out For Bulls Quarter Final Clash Against Benetton

The Vodacom Bulls will be missing Springboks key players Marco van Staden and Canan Moodie for their crucial clash against Benetton in the 2023/24 Vodacom United Rugby Championship quarter final on Saturday (15:30).

Moodie suffered a hand injury against the Sharks last weekend and will undergo surgery. The severity is unclear until the procedure, but he’ll be out for at least the next two weeks.

Coach Jake White hopes the injury won’t impact Moodie’s availability for the upcoming Springbok series against Ireland in July. Moodie has crossed over the white line 10 times including two against the same side in round seven in the Championship.

Van Staden, while potentially fit for this match, is being held out to avoid aggravating a minor injury before the international series. Marcell Coetzee is expected to return next week after recent surgery.

White on Player Selection

White acknowledged the unfortunate timing of the injuries but emphasized that regular squad rotation ensures everyone is match-ready.

He discussed Moodie’s injury: “It’s one of those where they’ll only know the severity once they operate. I’m hopeful, from the Boks’ perspective, that it’s not serious and he’s ready for the Irish series.”

On Van Staden, White explained: “Marco could play if this were the season finale, but I don’t want to risk him breaking down before the internationals. It wouldn’t be fair unless he’s 100% healthy.”

White provided an update on Marcell Coetzee’s recovery from surgery: “He should be back next week if all goes well.”

Confirmed Starting Lineup

White has named a strong starting XV with Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar, and Wilco Louw forming the front row. Ruan Vermaak and captain Ruan Nortje lock the scrum. Nizaam Carr starts at openside flank with Elrigh Louw on the blindside. Cameron Hanekom takes the number eight position.

Praising Carr’s recent form, White noted: “An interesting stat is that Nizaam has been our most consistent player at the breakdown. He doesn’t give away penalties and has been accurate, making him a good fit for openside flanker.”

The halfback pairing of Embrose Papier and Johan Goosen continues. Kurt-Lee Arendse remains at left wing, with Sebastian de Klerk slotting in on the right. Harold Vorster and David Kriel form the midfield center partnership, with Willie Le Roux at fullback.

Lessons Learned from Past Meetings

White emphasized the importance of learning from past encounters with Benetton: “The guys haven’t forgotten the Rainbow Cup final from a few seasons back. Most of the team played them then and just two weeks ago. We know how well they can play, especially that 20-minute period when we thought we had them under control.”

Focus on the Present

When asked about potential planning for the home semi-final, White cautioned against getting ahead of themselves: “We need to win this weekend. We can only worry about the following week once we’ve done the job against Benetton tomorrow.”

Vodacom Bulls Starting XV:

  1. Gerhard Steenekamp, 2. Johan Grobbelaar, 3. Wilco Louw, 4. Ruan Vermaak, 5. Ruan Nortje (c), 6. Nizaam Carr, 7. Elrigh Louw, 8. Cameron Hanekom, 9. Embrose Papier, 10. Johan Goosen, 11. Kurt-Lee Arendse, 12. Harold Vorster, 13. David Kriel, 14. Sebastian de Klerk, 15. Willie Le Roux

Vodacom Bulls Impact Squad:

  1. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Simphiwe Matanzima, 18. Francois Klopper, 19. Reinhardt Ludwig, 20. Jannes Kirsten, 21. Keagan Johannes, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Sergeal Petersen

Picture courtesy of the Vodacom Bulls

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