Ndungane back to face Chiefs

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:44
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Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made just one change to his team to face defending Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made just one change to his team to face defending Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Veteran wing Akona Ndungane, who missed last week's win over the Sharks because of compassionate leave, is back in the team in place of Sampie Mastriet and will play in his 101st match of Super Rugby for the franchise.

Mastriet drops out of the matchday 23 altogether.

Victor Matfield, who took over the captaincy of the team following the late withdrawel of Flip van der Merwe last weekend, will again lead the team into battle.

"We managed to pick up some good momentum over the last couple of weeks and with no new injuries, we can look at maintaining that," Ludeke said on Wednesday.

"Akona has played in all our matches this season and only missed last weekend because of his father passing away, so we are keen to have him back.

"He brings a lot of experience and composure."

Matfield will play in his 130th match, a South African record for appearances in the Super Rugby. Of these, 121 were with the Bulls and eight with the Cats.

Matfield will also improve on his own South African record as captain, as he will lead the team for the 77th time in Super Rugby.

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter,9  Francois Hougaard, 8 Dewald Potgieter, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi,  17 Morné Mellett, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Jono Ross, 21 Piet van Zyl,22  Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.

Date: Saturday, March 29
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT; 02.00 Sunday, March 30 NZ time)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Marc van Zyl (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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