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.

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Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0