The Vodacom Bulls will have their sights set squarely on building winning momentum in preparation for the Carling Currie Cup playoffs when they line up against the Phakisa Pumas in Nelspruit on Sunday following their return to the field earlier this week for the first time after almost a month out of action.
With a quick four-day turnaround from their last match – against the Xerox Lions – they will be bracing themselves for a tough test physically and mentally in the Lowveld.
History favours the Vodacom Bulls, who have suffered only one defeat against the Lowvelders in the competition since 2011.
But the visitors’ will be mindful of the fact that the Phakisa Pumas come off narrow defeats against the Toyota Cheetahs and Xerox Lions respectively and should not be written off.
Phakisa Pumas head coach, Jimmy Stonehouse, opted for consistency in selection for the clash making only one personnel change in the starting team.
Alwayno Visagie is promoted from the replacements bench to the run on team in place of Erich Cronje at outside centre.
The only other difference to the starting XV that went down 33-25 against the Xerox Lions last week, was in the engine room where locks Pieter Jansen van Vuren and Darrien Landsberg switch numbers.
Due to their match on Wednesday and COVID-19 testing protocols, the Vodacom Bulls team will be announced on Saturday.
Phakisa Pumas: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14. Luther Obi, 13 Alwayno Visagie, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11. Etienne Taljaard, 10. Devon Williams, 9. Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Darrien Landsberg, 4 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (C), 3. Ignatius Prinsloo, 2. Simon Westraadt, 1. Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16. AJ le Roux, 17. Eduan Swart, 18. Heath Backhouse, 19. Francois Kleinhans, 20. Giovan Snyman, 21. Tiaan Botes, 22. Sebastian de Klerk, 23. Liam Hendricks.
Vodacom Bulls: 15. Clinton Swart, 14. Jade Stighling, 13. Marnus Potgieter, 12. Dawid Kellerman, 11. Stravino Jacobs, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Ivan van Zyl, 8. Tim Agaba, 7. Arno Botha, 6. WJ Steenkamp, 5. Janko Swanepoel, 4. Jan Uys, 3. Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 2. Joe van Zyl, 1. Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16. Johan Grobbelaar, 17. Lizo Gqoboka, 18. Marcel van der Merwe, 19. Divan Venter, 20. Elrigh Louw, 21. Keagan Johannes, 22. Kabelo Mokoena, 23. Jay-Cee Nel.
Travelling reserves: 24. Janco Uys, 25. Mornay Smith, 26. Johan Mulder.
Match information – Phakisa Pumas v Vodacom Bulls
Date: Sunday, 10 January 2021
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge and AJ Jacobs
TMO: Johan Greeff
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby