The Vodacom Bulls returned to Loftus after losing against the Jaguares and they have no choice but to correct their ship in Round 15 of Vodacom Super Rugby.
Cause for concern for the Vodacom Bulls camp would not be so much that they were outplayed by the Jaguares, but more because of the inconsistency in performances. There was a night and day difference between the team that beat the Cell C Sharks and the one that fronted up to the Jaguares. As they like to say in sport, ” the team just didn’t pitch up on the day”. The team seemed to lack urgency and cohesion and the coaches will be hoping to put that down to the long travel time to Argentina, rather than any kind of rugby-related issue.
The men from Pretoria did score two tries towards the end of their Argentinean dogfight that added some gloss to the loss but it goes without saying that they let themselves and the Loftus faithful down.
The Winning Formula
After getting a proverbial hiding from the Emirates Lions last weekend, the Brumbies are also facing a must-win situation in Pretoria.
Head to head, the Brumbies hold a considerable advantage over the Vodacom Bulls as they have only lost seven of the 19 matches played but the home team did record an emphatic 44-23 win against their foes from Down Under when they last met at Loftus Versfeld in 2014. The average score is 30-26 to the visitors with the Brumbies scoring an average of four tries to three per game.
The Brumbies will be without Rory Arnold as he was red carded for his dangerous tackle on Springbok pivot, Elton Jantjies, and was subsequently banned for three weeks.
The visitors will not be too perturbed about him missing out as they have a number of stalwarts in their team including lock Sam Carter, flank David Pocock, flyhalf Christian Lealiifano and wing Henry Speight who have enough experience to know how to win matches.
This is one of those games where if the Vodacom Bulls fire anywhere close to 100%, the Brumbies will stand very little chance of a win.
On the home front, Vodacom Bulls head coach John Mitchell has welcomed back regular captain and inside centre Burger Odendaal. His return sees Handrè Pollard shift back to flyhalf while Manie Libbok moves to the bench.
Amongst the forwards, Nic de Jager starts at blindside as Thembelani Bholi is rested on the bench. On the topic of bench warmers, lock Ruben van Heerden takes over from the injured Hendre Stassen while there is a possible Vodacom Super Rugby debut for prop Mathys Basson who replaces Frans van Wyk.