Youthful look to Vodacom Blue Bulls for Currie Cup opener

Aug 7 • General News, South Africa • 3014 Views • Comments Off on Youthful look to Vodacom Blue Bulls for Currie Cup opener

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Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar included five Absa Currie Cup novices in his team to play defending champions DHL Western Province in Cape Town on Saturday in his team’s opening match of the 2013 competition.

 

Travis Ismaiel, Tony Jantjies, Jacques du Plessis and Wiaan Liebenberg all return to the venue of massive significance to them. Ismaiel, Jantjies and Liebenberg were members of the Junior Springbok team who won the IRB Junior World Championship at this venue just under a year ago, whilst 2013 Junior Bok Du Plessis made his Vodacom Super Rugby debut for the Vodacom Bulls at Newlands a month ago.

 

Former Vodacom Cup leader Jono Ross will be leading the team in his debut appearance for the Blue Bulls Currie Cup side.

 

Paul Willemse, Callie Visagie (both MTN Golden Lions), Waylon Murray (EP Kings) and Marcell van der Merwe (Toyota Free State) will make their Currie Cup debuts for the Blue Bulls, but have played for other teams earlier in their careers.

 

Only five players – Francois Venter, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Frik Kirsten, Willie Wepener and Mornè Mellett remain from the team that played in the Blue Bulls last Currie Cup match in 2012, the semi-final against The Sharks in Durban.

“We are excited about the potential of our team. We do have a lot of younger players and Newlands is a severe test to even an experienced player, but if ever there was a time to justify the structures and depth at the union, this it is,” Pienaar said.

 

“We have a lot of faith in our structures and the younger players have all proved themselves. There is also a good core of experience, so we are looking forward to a good Currie Cup season. To start away against the defending champions is a very tough ask, but if we want to reach the top, we must embrace and accept all challenges,” Pienaar said.

 

The Vodacom Blue Bulls team to play WP (with number of Currie Cup caps) is:

Jürgen Visser (22), Sampie Mastriet (2), Ulrich Beyers (5), Francois Venter (22), Travis Ismaiel*(0), Tony Jantjies*(0), Rudy Paige (4), Jono Ross*(0, c), Jacques du Plessis*(0), Wiaan Liebenberg*(0), Grant Hattingh (8), Paul Willemse (1), Frik Kirsten (25), Willie Wepener (85), Morné Mellet (5). Replacements: Callie Visagie (18), Marcell van der Merwe (25), Wilhelm Steenkamp (85), Jean Cook (3), Ruan Snyman (19), Waylon Murray (71), Clayton Blommetjies (5).

 

Milestones:

Travis Ismaiel, Tony Jantjies, Jono Ross, Jacques du Plessis and Wiaan Liebenberg will make their Absa Currie Cup debuts, whilst Paul Willemse, Callie Visagie, Marcell van der Merwe and Waylon Murray will make their Blue Bulls debut in the competition.

(*) denotes Currie Cup debutants

 

 

Nuwe gesigte in Vodacom Blou Bulle se Curriebeker-beginstryd

Die Vodacom Blou Bulle-afrigter, Pine Pienaar, het vyf nuwelinge ingesluit in sy span wat Saterdag in Kaapstad sy Absa Curriebeker-veldtog teen die verdedigende kampioene, die DHL Westelike Provinsie, afskop.

 

Travis Ismaiel, Tony Jantjies, Jacques du Plessis en Wiaan Liebenberg keer almal terug na ‘n veld vol goeie herinneringe. Ismaiel, Jantjies en Liebenberg was deel van die seëvierende Junior Springbokspan wat net meer as ‘n jaar gelede die IRB Junior Wêreldkampioenskap op die veld gewen het, terwyl Du Plessis sowat ‘n maand gelede sy Vodacom Super Rugby debuut vir die Vodacom Bulls op dieselfde veld gemaak het.

 

Die voormalige Vodacombeker-kaptein, Jono Ross, sal die Vodacom Blou Bulle in sy debuutwedstryd vir die Curriebekerspan op die veld lei.

 

Paul Willemse, Callie Visagie (beide MTN Goue Lions), Waylon Murray (OP Kings) en Marcell van der Merwe (Toyota Vrystaat) maak almal hul Blou Bulle-debuut in die kompetisie, nadat hulle verlede jaa vir ander spanne gespeel het.

Slegs vyf spelers – Francois Venter, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Frik Kirsten, Willie Wepener en Mornè Mellett het in die Blou Bulle se laaste wedstryd – die halfeindstryd van die kompetisie teen die Sharks in Durban in 2012- gespeel.

“Ons is erg opgewonde oor die potensiaal van die span,” het Pienaar gesê.

 

“Daar is wel ‘n klomp jong spelers in die groep en Nuweland kan selfs die gesoute speler intimideer, maar as daar ooit ‘n tyd was vir ons diepte en strukture om hulself te bewys, is dit nou.”

 

Volgens Pienaar is daar baie vertroue in die unie se strukture en die manier waarop dit spelers deurbring.

“Boonop het die jong spelers hulself in ander kompetisies bewys. Daar is ook ‘n goeie kern van ervare spelers in die groep, so ons sien uit na ‘n goeie Curriebekerseisoen. Om teen die verdedigende kampioene op hul tuisveld af te skop is ‘n groot uitdaging, maar as ons die kruin wil bereik, moet ons alle uitdagings met ywer aanpak en oorkom,” het Pienaar gesê.

 

Die Vodacom Blou Bulle span wat teen die WP speel (met getal Curriebekerwedstryde) is: Jürgen Visser (22), Sampie Mastriet (2), Ulrich Beyers (5), Francois Venter (22), Travis Ismaiel*(0), Tony Jantjies*(0), Rudy Paige (4), Jono Ross*(0, c), Jacques du Plessis*(0), Wiaan Liebenberg*(0), Grant Hattingh (8), Paul Willemse (1), Frik Kirsten (25), Willie Wepener (85), Morné Mellet (5). Plaasvervangers: Callie Visagie (18), Marcell van der Merwe (25), Wilhelm Steenkamp (85), Jean Cook (3), Ruan Snyman (19), Waylon Murray (71), Clayton Blommetjies (5).

 

Mylpale:

Travis Ismaiel, Tony Jantjies, Jono Ross, Jacques du Plessis en Wiaan Liebenberg sal hul Absa Curriebeker-debuut maak, terwyl Paul Willemse, Callie Visagie, Marcell van der Merwe en Waylon Murray vir die eerste keer vir die Blou Bulle in die kompetisie uitdraf.

(*) dui Curriebeker debutante aan

 

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