VODACOM URC: Few changes for Vodacom Bulls ahead of Glasgow Warriors clash

James Verity-Amm will earn a starting berth for the Vodacom Bulls when they take on Glasgow Warriors in a crucial Vodacom United Rugby Championship match at Loftus Versfeld tonight.

The Vodacom Bulls have made four changes to their backline for the clash in addition to a solitary personnel change in the forwards pack.

Verity-Amm, who has shown some fine form for the Tshwane-based side in the domestic Carling Currie Cup, has received an opportunity to start on the right wing this weekend.

The young and talented Canan Moodie, who has proven himself as a solid outside back who featured on the wing so far this season, will show his versatility when he starts at fullback.

The Vodacom Bulls will also have a changed half-back pairing which will see Zak Burger combining with the experienced Morne Steyn.

Hardman, Arno Botha, makes a return to the starting XV where he will do the No7 jersey.

A strong bench will see the return of Harold Vorster to action after missing last weekend’s game against Benetton Rugby, while Cyle Brink will be providing loose-forward cover.

“We have a tough task ahead of us this Friday,” said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.

“Despite their defeat to the DHL Stormers last week, Glasgow Warriors are a formidable side that we expect will bring a huge challenge for us. They are a well-coached group with several highly talented internationals in their squad.

“We will need to be alert and be at our best for the entire 80 minutes.”

The match between the Vodacom Bulls and Glasgow Warriors will kick off at 19h00 and it will be televised on SuperSport.

Tickets for the match are available from R25 on www.ticketpros.co.za and at the Loftus Versfeld ticket office. Entertainment on the day will include pre-match social drinks at Blu Bar behind the Eastern Stand, opening at 16h00, and an afterparty in Castle Corner featuring the mysterious DJ Paradox.


The Vodacom Bulls team to face Glasgow Warriors is:

STARTERS (15-1): Canan Moodie (Pretoria), James Verity-Amm (Pretoria), Lionel Mapoe (Pretoria), Cornal Hendricks (Northam Rhinos), Madosh Tambwe (Pretoria), Morne Steyn (Tuine), Zak Burger (Tuine); Elrigh Louw (UP Tuks), Arno Botha (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), Marcell Coetzee (CAPT, ABE Midas Naka Bulle), Ruan Nortje (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), Walt Steenkamp (Betway Centurion), Mornay Smith (Betway Centurion), Johan Grobbelaar (UP Tuks), Gerhard Steenekamp (ABE Midas Naka Bulle).

IMPACT (16-23): Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Pretoria), Simphiwe Matanzima (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), Dylan Smith (Tuine), Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria), Cyle Brink (Betway Centurion), Embrose Papier (UP Tuks), Chris Smith (Harlequins), Harold Vorster (Northam Rhinos).

VODACOM URC: Vodacom Bulls expect confident Benetton team at Loftus, says Burger

Benetton Rugby will come to Loftus Versfeld full of confidence when they take on the Vodacom Bulls in a Vodacom United Rugby Championship Round 16 match on Saturday.

Not only did the side from Treviso get one over their Tshwane-based opponents when they squared up in the final of the Rainbow Cup last year, but a number of their players were involved when the Italy national side recently claimed a historic victory over Wales in the Six Nations this year.

Vodacom Bulls scrumhalf, Zak Burger, is wary of the dangers posed by the Italian side and expects a challenging battle when the two teams meet at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon.

“Going up against Benetton, we know that they are a good team. They won the Rainbow Cup last year and they have all of their international players back now from the Six Nations,” said Burger ahead of the weekend’s clash.

“So, we know that it is going to be a very hard match and we know that we are going to have to be really clinical and take our chances whenever they are presented to us.

“In this Benetton team, there are about 12 players that were in that Italy team that beat Wales in Cardiff. They are obviously full of confidence now after winning that game. I really think that it’s going to be a very hard battle for us this coming Saturday.”

The 23-year-old scrum-half has made some weighty contributions to the Vodacom Bulls team this season.

He is pleased with both his personal improvement and the strides his team has been making since the start of the Vodacom URC season.

Burger further added that there were lessons he and the Vodacom Bulls troops learned from their most recent match – a narrow defeat to the DHL Stormers a fortnight ago.

“What we took out from our previous game is that we were not clinical enough,” shared the nippy halfback.

“Games like that are like a test match and you have to take your chances whenever you get them. On that day we did not take enough of our chances. We have to be clinical this weekend against a good Benetton side.”

The Vodacom Bulls will announce their team for the weekend on Friday.

The match will kick off at 14h00 and it will be televised on SuperSport.

Loftus Versfeld will be a hive of activity with children under the age of 18 being allowed to enter the stadium for free. Tickets for children will be collectible at the stadium entry gates. Adults can purchase their tickets for as little as R25 per ticket.

There will be plenty of entertainment on the day with a kiddies area on the D-field and a beer garden for adults.

Rugby fanatics can also look forward to a curtain-raiser match that will signal the start of the 2021 Women’s Premier Division competition when the Blue Bulls Women take on Border Ladies at 11h40.

There will also be an afterparty at the beer garden with entertainment from popular Jacaranda FM DJs Mack Rapapali and Thabiso Khambule aka Lallie.

VODACOM URC: Extensive preparations for Vodacom Bulls ahead of Benetton clash

The Vodacom Bulls will not be going into unchartered territory when they welcome the Italian side, Benetton Rugby, at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The opposition will be familiar as the first European side the Tshwane-based outfit faced overseas when the two sides met in the Rainbow Cup final last year. It was the Italians that claimed the bragging rights with a 35-8 win in Treviso.

With the experience of having measured themselves against the Italian side that boasts several international players, and on the back of a 19-17 defeat to the DHL Stormers a fortnight ago, the Vodacom Bulls have been working hard this week in preparation for the expected tough battle against Benetton Rugby this weekend.

“We know exactly what we need to fix for our match against Benetton after our last match against the DHL Stormers. We will be well-prepared for them,” said Vodacom Bulls breakdown coach, Nollis Marais, ahead of the game.

The Vodacom Bulls have learned several lessons since the June 19, 2021, Rainbow Cup final match and have since developed as a team, seeing gradual improvements in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship over the past few months.

“For two years we played local sides, where we saw the same picture every week at the breakdown, attack, and all other areas,” said Marais.

“Then we played in the Rainbow Cup, it was the first time we played overseas, and that brought us a totally different picture about the breakdown and what we were used to.

“That is when we realised that it didn’t matter what level we thought we were in terms of the breakdown and other aspects, we were a bit behind the European sides. We needed to adapt very quickly.”

Marais believes the side can be satisfied with the strides the team has made which sees them knocking on the door of a spot in the Vodacom URC playoffs.

“At one stage we were not that good with ball carries, and we are now one of the top sides, it’s getting better. The breakdown is getting better, and I think that is an area we made a huge step up from the beginning of the Vodacom URC.”

The Vodacom Bulls will look to be in top form when they take on a Benetton Rugby side that has shown their capabilities with some good wins this season which includes the scalps of the DHL Stormers, Edinburgh Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, and Zebre Parma.

The match will kick off at 14h00 on Saturday and it will be televised on SuperSport.