Marais sticks with winning team

Date published: August 12 2015

Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais has named the same starting line-up that played in Bloemfontein last weekend for Friday's clash with Griquas.

Marais only made one change on the bench, where fit-again prop Dayan van der Westhuizen will replace Nqoba Mxoli, who will return to the U21 side.

Even though the side will have the benefit of a solid performance against the Free State Cheetahs behind them, Marais will be keen to see more improvement in their first home match of the competition.

"We would like to improve every week. We did some satisfying things last weekend and I was quite pleased in the way we created and finished off try-scoring opportunities. Some elements of our game was not good though and we will be looking to get better in those areas," Marais said.

"Griquas will be a different challenge this week. They are direct and abrasive in the forwards and have some very good playmakers at the back. Our defensive effort will have to be top notch."

Meanwhile, flanker Labuschagne has urged his troops to maintain their urgency in all areas of play at Loftus Versfeld this week.

"We have the belief that we can make this a great season, but we will be tested again when we play Griquas, who can be a very difficult opponent. They have some experienced campaigners in their side and we will have to front up. We are also very excited about our first home game of the campaign and hope for a good crowd that we don't want to disappoint."

Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (c), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Roelof Smit, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Dries Swanepoel.

Date: Friday, August 14
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Sindile Ngcese, Archie Sehlako
Assessor: Craig Joubert