Leading point’s scorer Kobus Marais has been recalled at flyhalf to the starting line-up of the Vodacom Blue Bulls team that will face DHL Western Province in Cape Town on Saturday in one of the two Vodacom Cup semi-finals this weekend.
Marais, who has scored 79 points for the team in the competition so far this season, played off the bench in last weekend’s quarterfinals win over the Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV and will replace Tian Schoeman, who is not available for this match.
Joshua Stander, who has also started at flyhalf for the team this year, will play off the bench.
Coach Nollis Marais also moved Akona Ndungane to fullback and Jade Stighlingh to wing for the DHL Newlands clash.
The team is: Akona Ndungane, Jade Stighlingh, William Small-Smith, Dan Kriel, Jamba Ulengo, Kobus Marais, JP Smith, Clyde Davids, Nardus van der Walt, Wiaan Liebenberg, Marvin Orie, Nqubeko Zulu, Andrew Beerwinkel, Arno van Wyk, Basil Short. Replacements: Corniel Els, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Roelof Smit, Kefentse Mahlo, CJ Stander, Marquit September.
Stats (provided by SARU):
•The Vodacom Blue Bulls hold the upper hand in knock-out contests between these traditional rivals – they won both (in 2010 by 17-6 in Pretoria and in 2009 by 36-16, also at home). In total, they’ve met nine times with the Vodacom Bulls winning six and DHL Western Province three.
•The Capetonians won the last encounter between these sides, by 16-8 in Pretoria in 2011.
•The last time DHL Western Province hosted the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup in Cape Town, was way back in 2001, with the visitors winning easily by 41-10.
Vodacom Cup – Historic performances
DHL Western Province: Best performance: Champions in 2012
Performance in 2014: Lost in quarter-finals (13-8 to Steval Pumas)
Vodacom Blue Bulls: Best performance: Champions in 2001, 2008 and 2010
Performance in 2014: Lost in semi-finals (16-15 to Xerox Golden Lions)
Saturday, 23 May
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Pro Legoete
•Live on SuperSport 6