VIDEO: Mitchell's Bulls show their class

Sat, 10 Feb 2018 23:11

PRE-SEASON REPORT: Bulls coach John Mitchell says he has his 'best 23' mapped out for their opening match of the 2018 Super Rugby season.

Mitchell was speaking after his squad - split in two distinct teams - powered past the Jaguares 21-12 in a pre-season hit-out at the Loftus Versfeld's B-field on Saturday.

He started the match with his 'fringe' players and a number of Springboks - including Jesse Kriel and Handre Pollard - were unleashed on the Argentineans in the second half.

Asked how close he is to is starting XV, for their opening match against the Hurricanes on February 24, Mitchell made it clear the second-half combination is close to the real deal.

"You don't have to be a mathematician or magician to see what was on the field [ion the second half]," Mitchell said.

"It is not far away, but obviously there were a few experiments in certain positions."

The Bulls raced into an early 14-0 lead.

Wing Andell Loubser scored the opening try - from a kick-pass by fullback Manie Libbok.

Marco van Staden burrowed his way over from a line-out drive.

Early in the second half a beautiful pass from Pollard put Kriel into a gap, with the midfielder throwing a dummy to beat the first defender before putting Warrick Gelant away for a well-worked try.

Julian Montoya and Javier Ortego Desio scored for the visitors.

Mitchell said he is happy with his team's build-up.

"It [the pre-season build-up] has gone to plan," Mitchell said, adding: "But we're not finished.

"We don't start the competition next week [Saturday, February 17]. We have another trial and when we start the competition [against the Hurricanes at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, February 24] we must ensure we are ready to go."

He said his preferred starting XV will get more time on the field in next week's internal trial.

"The second-half team needs more time on the field. They will get that next week."


Loubscher, Van Staden, Gelant
Cons: Libbok 2, Pollard

Montoya, Ortega Desio
Con: Hernández


Bulls: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Francois Brummer, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Jano Venter, 7 Themba Bholi, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Lodewyk de Jager (captain), 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements - from: Warrick Gelant, Divan Rossouw, Jesse Kriel, Burger Odendaal, Johnny Kotze, Handre Pollard, Andre Warner, Hanro Liebenberg, Jason Jenkins, Roelof Smit, Rudolph Snyman, Conraad van Vuuren, Jaco Visagie, Pierre Schoeman. Jan-Henning Campher, Matthys Basson, Lizo Gqoboka, Eli Snyman, Shaun Adendorff, Theo Maree, JT Jackson, Franco Naude, Andell Loubser.

Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Emiliano Boffelli, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9  Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Tomás Lezana, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Chaparro Tetaz, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Felipe Arregui.
Replacements - from: Julián Montoya, Nicolás Leiva, Javier Diaz, Juan Pablo Zeiss, Guido Petti, Marcos Kremer, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Leonardo Senatore, Martín Landajo, Juan Martín Hernández, Joaquín Diaz Bonilla, Santiago González Iglesias, Matías Orlando, Sebastián Cancelliere.

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 25 May 2018
Crusaders v Hurricanes 07h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sunwolves 09h45 Melbourne
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sat, 26 May 2018
Chiefs v Waratahs 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Highlanders 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Bulls v Brumbies 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 14h00 London
Stormers v Lions 15h15 Newlands
Leinster v Scarlets 17h00 Dublin
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 1 4 31
Rebels 11 5 0 6 25
Reds 11 4 0 7 18
Brumbies 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 0 9 10
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 46
Hurricanes 11 10 0 1 45
Highlanders 11 7 0 4 32
Chiefs 11 7 0 4 32
Blues 12 3 0 9 17
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 7 0 6 36
Jaguares 12 7 0 5 29
Sharks 12 5 1 6 28
Bulls 12 5 0 7 24
Stormers 13 5 0 8 23