Preview: Blue Bulls v Boland Cavaliers

Date published: September 21 2016

The Boland Cavaliers will want to get back to winning ways when they host the Blue Bulls in Wellington on Friday.

Following their recent defeat against Griquas in Kimberley, Boland will be eager to bounce back against the men in blue. Having beaten the Blue Bulls in Pretoria during the Currie Cup Qualifying stages earlier this season, the Cavaliers will be backing themselves on their home turf.

This is an important game for the Blue Bulls as if they win with a bonus-point they will top the standings and move above the Cheetahs. While Boland will need the win to try and avoid the Pumas leap-frogging them. 

Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais urged his side to hit the ground running in Wellington.

"We have managed to pick up some momentum when we needed to, but this match could define our season," he said.

"A solid performance could secure a place in the play-offs. After that, it will all be in our hands."

Hanro Liebenberg will again lead the team from the base of the scrum. 

"We worked hard to get ourselves into a position where we can win the Currie Cup," added Marais.

"We are not there yet, so the work is far from finished. We owe it to ourselves to deliver a commanding performance." 

Boland have a couple of changes to the their side. In the pack Basil short replaces Enoch Mnyaka in the number three jersey.

Jacques Engelbrecht moves from the back of the scrum to the side as he dons the seven jersey while Zandre Jordaan will play at number eight with Keenan Cronje starting at open-side flank.

In the back-line Theuns Kotze starts at fly-half with Adriaan Carelse going back to full-back with Gerrit van Wyk starting at outside-centre.

Marais named tight-head prop Jacobie Adriaanse in his starting XV after the prop missed last weekend's win over Griquas due to injury. Adriaanse replaces Martin Dreyer, who drops to the bench, with Jon-Roy Jenkinson missing the trip to Cape Town.

Marais also changed the rest of his front row. Hookers Bandise Maku and Jaco Visagie swap places again and loose-head prop Lizo Gqoboka comes in for Pierre Schoeman as part of their rotational policy.

In an enforced change at the back, Bjorn Basson replaces Travis Ismaiel, who is nursing a groin injury. Divan Rossouw comes in for Basson on the bench.

The last time these teams met: Boland claimed a 35-26 win over the Bulls in Pretoria. With Danwell Demas, Basil Short crossing over the white-wash and star of the game Sergio Torrens grabbing himself a brace. 

Prediction: Despite Boland playing at home, the Blue Bulls are on hot streak right now and should claim a decisive win in Wellington. Blue Bulls by 15. 

The teams:

Boland Cavaliers: 15 Adriaan Carelse, 14 Logan Basson, 13 Gerrit van Wyk, 12 Christopher Bosch, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Zandré Jordaan, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Keenan Cronje, 5 Joubert Horn, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Basil Short, 2 Clemen Lewis(c), 1 SP Wessels 
Replacements: 16 Francois Esterhuyzen, 17 Enoch Mnyaka, 18 Francois Hanekom, 19 Wayne Wilschut, 20 Hanno Kitshoff, 21 Gerhard Jordaan, 22 Robbie Louw

Blue Bulls: Ulrich Beyers, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Nic de Jager, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Jason Jenkins, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Divan Rossouw

Date: Friday, September 23
Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 15:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Shuhei Kubo 
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Aimee Barrett
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans