Preview: Blue Bulls v Griquas

Date published: August 28 2015

The Blue Bulls will look to consolidate their position at the top of the table when they face Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.

The men from Pretoria are brimming with confidence after they delivered a superb all-round performance in their 47-29 victory over the defending champions, Western Province, last weekend.

The Bulls are of course unbeaten after three matches after also beating Griquas in their corresponding fixture in Pretoria in Round Two as well as the Free State Cheetahs in their season opener.

Despite their superb start to their campaign, Blue Bulls skipper Lappies Labuschagne urged his team-mates not to underestimate Griquas and urged them to continue where they left off against WP.

"We are playing a very dangerous team who has beaten us in Kimberley before, so they will have the belief that they can do it again," he said.

"That said, we are also a squad that approach every game with the necessary respect to the opponents and determination to do our own efforts and the support of our fans justice.

"We are building momentum nicely, but must be careful not to fall in a hole in Kimberley.”

After a horrid start to the Currie Cup season with three losses on the trot, Griquas have decided to overhaul their squad with coach Hawies Fourie making several changes to his run-on side.

Amongst the backs, Michael van der Spuy moves from inside to outside centre, where he replaces Ruhan Nel, while Clinton Swart will wear the number 12 jersey against the Blue Bulls.

Up front, Stephan Kotze takes over from Ewald Van Der Westhuizen at tighthead prop while Carel Greeff and Hilton Lobberts are relegated to the bench.

Greeff is replaced at number eight by RJ Liebenberg while Jonathan Adendorf moves from lock to the blindside flank where he comes in for Lobberts. Adendorf's place in the second row is taken by Hugo Kloppers.

Prediction: The Blue Bulls will have little trouble in seeing off their hosts. Blue Bulls to win by 18 points.

The teams:

Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Sandile Ngcobo, 13 Michael Van Der Spuy, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer(c), 8 RJ Liebenberg, 7 Jonathan Adendorf, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jaco Nepgen, 3 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 2 AJ Le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Luxolo Koza, 18 Hilton Lobberts, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Rudi Van Rooyen, 21 Jonathan Francke, 22 Ruhan Nel.

Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Lappies Labuschagne (c), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Nick de Jager, 20 André Warner, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Dan Kriel.

Date: Saturday, 29 August
Venue: Griqua Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 15:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Jaco Kotze
TMO: JJ Wagner