Forgot Password




Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications

Login using

Email Reset


Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Bulls in selection quandary

The Vodacom Bulls may be leading the South African conference at the moment, but they face a conundrum in selection this week that would test the wisdom of Solomon.

Still buoyed by their impressive play in the 34-0 whitewash of the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth over the weekend, the Bulls face a very different challenge altogether this week as they prepare to take on the resurgent Waratahs in their next Vodacom Super Rugby match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

But given the form of Jan Serfontein and JJ Engelbrecht in the midfield, Arno Botha on the flank and the return to action of Bjorn Basson, coach Frans Ludeke will sit with some tough decisions when he selects the team to take on the Waratahs.

While form may be one thing, the danger of Bernard Foley’s attacking runs at 10 and Israel Folau’s injection into the backline may well see the Bulls adopt a different approach against the Australian side.

Serfontein is certainly playing well at the moment, but with Wynand Olivier returning to fitness, there is a decision to be made. Continue with the young prodigy or bring back the seasoned veteran? Both arguments have merit, but it would be a crying shame to drop Serfontein after the way he has performed in the past few weeks.

There is also a bigger picture to look at for the Bulls. In a few weeks’ time Serfontein will be ripped away for SA under-20 duty and head to France for the IRB Junior World Championship, so it may be good to give him as much game time now, and rotate the squad later.

On the outside Engelbrecht has suddenly come to life outside Serfontein, and looks hungry for action. It is no coincidence that the Bulls have looked their most dangerous when they have moved the ball wide and the midfielder has been able to move into the backline with his incisive runs.

But Basson’s second-half cameo brings a poser on what to do with Lionel Mapoe. Both players are in good nick, but Basson is seen as the first choice on the wing, meaning Mapoe would either need to move to 13, or drop to the bench. It is likely, given the aerial skills of Folau and co, that Basson will be back and the latter will happen.

Up front the same questions need to be asked. Arno Botha has been in exceptional form on the flank, and with Dewald Potgieter returning from injury, and factoring in Jacques Potgieter’s cameo late in the second half, the make-up of the loose trio is also likely to be a debating point.

Coach Ludeke has been a stickler for the Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter and Deon Stegmann combination, the tried and tested, but it is difficult to ignore Botha’s claims. Likewise, the bearded Potgieter’s impact from the bench can’t be ignored, and as such leaves them in a quandary.

At lock, Flip van der Merwe needs to pass a fitness test to take his place, with Wilhelm Steenkamp likely to move onto the bench. The on-off nature of Francois Hougaard’s injury will also pose an interesting decision whether or not to continue with Jano Vermaak, who has been in exceptional form, or bring the Bok halfback back to his regular spot.


SA Rugby Annual 2013
SA Rugby Annual 2013: The Official Year Book of the South African Rugby Union
SA rugby annual 2014
The 2014 SA Rugby Annual is the official record of the South African season and is widely considered to be one of the finest yearbooks in world rugby


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Fri, 18 Apr @ 05:00
Sun, 20 Apr @ 20:50
Mon, 21 Apr @ 09:00
Mon, 21 Apr @ 14:30

Sports Talk

Brendan Venter
The value of versatility
With injuries a constant diet in a competition as gruelling as Super Rugby, I believe the currency...

Tony Johnson
Super Rugby mid-term report
We’re about halfway through the round robin, so a mid-term report might be in order.

Gavin Rich
It ain’t won in April...or May
One of Naas Botha’s famous comments from back when he was a player was that the Currie Cup wasn’t...

Brenden Nel
The importance of Matfield
Much has been debated about Victor Matfield’s comeback over the past few months, with opinions...

Super Wrap
Season's bleatings
Christmas can come early and this year the Bulls decided to bring it to us not even halfway into a...

Duane Heath
Alvizo's reprieve
Alvizo Erasmus has never met Jannie du Plessis and probably never will, but these two men, who ply...