The game that we have been waiting for finally arrived on Saturday. The Vodacom Blue Bulls gave a fantastic performance and really had to give it their all up until the eightieth minute. After a few losses, the Blue Troopers finally got a well-deserved win. We are finally off from the bottom of the log sitting fifth just above the Toyota Free State Cheetahs. The last two games for the Vodacom Blue Bulls are crucial must win games to steer clear of the relegation zone.
The Blue Bulls have reshuffled their loose trio with CJ Stander starting at 8th man after Jacques Potgieter has been recalled to the Boks. Louis Fouche faces a late fitness test with Lionel Cronje on standby as his replacement. The Sharks are without Lwazi Mvovo and Craig Burden who are on Springbok duty. Paul Jordaan comes into the backline with a few positional shifts that see Bosman at 10 and Whitehead at inside centre. Ludik moves to the wing to replace Mvovo. Burden’s place will be taken by veteran Peter Dixon. Both sides have seen changes due to Springbok call-ups and the Vodacom Blue Bulls will need to bring their A game and not be haunted by past performances. The Sharks have won the last 7 matches between the sides at the Shark Tank but the game will not be a complete walk over with the Vodacom Blue Bulls needing to prove their spot and they should not be written off just yet.
The Currie Cup is the ongoing South African derby but the game that all South Africans will be gathering for and making their way to Loftus Stadium for is the Castle Rugby Championships on Saturday where the Springboks take on the Wallabies. Both sides will be playing for pride due to the All Blacks owning the title after four straight victories. Australia is currently sitting at second spot and the Boks third with seven points.
The news that most were waiting for and the call that many predicted was the omission of Morne Steyn after a run of poor performances with the boot. Steyn will be replaced by Johan Goosen at flyhalf in a very bold move. Etzebeth returns from injury at lock and Jaco Taute is on standby to replace Francios Steyn should he not recover from an ankle injury. The Wallabies have made the one change with Kurtley Beale replacing the injured Quade Cooper at flyhalf and Berrick Barnes starting at fullback. The Wallabies have won their last two matches on South African soil but they have never won at Loftus. Loftus has proven to be a decent venue for South Africa in the past and for this game the odds are in their favour.
We look forward to seeing the Blue Troopers and the Springboks in action this weekend and we are all in for some great rugby.
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