Only victories will cure Blue Bulls problems

Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar on Tuesday said a victory over the Pumas in their Currie Cup match at the weekend would be the only cure for his team’s ailments.

The Pretoria team will take on the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday in the hope of securing a win and subsequently elevate themselves out of last position on the Currie Cup log.

The Bulls had lost three of their four matches since the start of the provincial competition a month ago.

They will also travel to Nelspruit with the knowledge that the Pumas are a team not to be underestimated.

The Pumas last year caused an upset when they beat the Bulls 22-21 at the same venue.

“There is no other option than to win when you are lying at the bottom of the log,” said Pienaar.

“The pressure is building and the players know it.

“It is a matter of how we are playing and it will have to change.” Pienaar announced a new-look team on Wednesday with Springboks Wynand Olivier and Bjorn Basson returning to the starting team.

The coach continued his bold selection policy by shifting specialist fullback Zane Kirchner to outside centre where he will partner with Olivier.

He said Kirchner’s move to centre was purely experimental and could see the Springbok fullback spending more time in the midfield.

Youngster Jurgen Visser will slot in at fullback while Marnitz Boshoff will play at pivot with regular flyhalf Francois Brummer receiving a break from rugby action.

Boshoff last year captained the Bulls’ Under-21 side and will earn his first Currie Cup start.

Jano Vermaak will also make his Bulls debut since transferring from the Golden Lions during the week.

The former Lions player was under contract with the Golden Lions untill the end of October, but has this week been released to play for the Bulls.

Pienaar said he was exited at the prospect of seeing Vermaak in action and believed the scrumhalf would fit in comfortably at the Bulls.

The Bulls mentor said he was unhappy with his team’s discipline in last weekend’s 27-36 loss to the Lions at Loftus Versfeld.

“You can’t afford 18 penalties against you and only play with 14 players for 20 minutes of the match,” said Pienaar.

“There were moments that we played well against the Lions and we effectively did what we wanted to do against them but when the pressure increased we conceded too many penalties.”

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