They have been careless with the limited ball they’ve had and their structural offensive game lacks the cutting edge required to carve up educated defence systems
COACH Pote Human exercised restraint in his team selection for the Bulls’ game against the Blues at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday as he tries to get his team going this season.
It isn’t just that they’ve failed to record a win in their two Super Rugby matches but that they have been abject on attack, proven by their inability to cross the tryline against the Sharks and Stormers.
They have been careless with the limited ball they’ve had and their structural offensive game lacks the cutting edge required to carve up educated defence systems.
Still, Human felt it unnecessary to bring the change that many have been clamouring for: Manie Libbok at flyhalf for Morné Steyn.
It’s a complicated selection problem for the coach. On one hand he wishes his team plays the kind of rugby the Stormers and Lions served up last weekend in their 33-30 thriller but at the same time, he is paralysed by fear of being without his only real goal-kicking weapon.
So he’s opted for the safer option of bringing Libbok on when the game is stretched, after Steyn has given them something to work with on the scoreboard. However, if the 13-0 loss in their last outing provided any clues it’s that a gun kicker alone doesn’t suffice as an attacking weapon.
“We want to give Manie more game time because he can open up the game more in the second half, alongside Ambrose Papier. They can speed up the game and that’s what we’ll need in the second half especially here at altitude,” Human said.
Bulls (15-1): Warrick Gelant, Cornal Hendricks, Johnny Kotze, Burger Odendaal (capt), Rosko Specman, Morné Steyn, Ivan van Zyl, Josh Strauss, Wian Vosloo, Jeandre Rudolph, Juandré Kruger, Andries Ferreira, Trevor Nyakane, Jaco Visagie, Lizo Gqoboka. Bench (16-23): Corniel Els, Gerhard Steenekamp, Wiehahn Herbst, Ruan Nortjé, Ruan Steenkamp, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Divan Rossouw