VODACOM URC: Unchanged Vodacom Bulls team for Dublin VURC semifinal showdown
The Vodacom Bulls have named an unchanged starting XV for their all-important Vodacom United Rugby Championship semifinal match against Leinster at the RDS Arena on Friday night.
The South African charges, who have been preparing for the precursor to season finale in Dublin this week, have opted for consistency with director of rugby, Jake White, selecting an unchanged starting lineup to the one that beat the Cell C Sharks in last weekend’s quarterfinal clash at Loftus Versfeld.
The side from Tshwane has made four changes to their bench. The experienced former Springbok hooker, Bismarck du Plessis will provide cover from the bench, alongside loosehead prop Simphiwe Matanzima and loose-forward, WJ Steenkamp.
The Vodacom Bulls will also see the return of electrifying back, Kurt-Lee Arendse, who will be on the bench this week after being sidelined by a finger injury over the past few weeks.
The South Africans are expecting a tough challenge against a Leinster side that has dominated during the round robin stages, and also showed their intentions of dominating the knockout stages with a forceful performance last weekend when they defeated Glasgow Warriors in the quarterfinal.
“Leinster is a phenomenal side that is very well-coached and is full if international players, said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, ahead of the match.
“You look at their bench and they have players who have more caps for the club than the entire Vodacom Bulls team combined. So, we are definitely up against a quality side, and it will be a great challenge at the RDS Arena.”
The match will kick off at 20h35 SA time (19h35 UK time)
The Vodacom Bulls team to play in the Vodacom URC semifinal against Leinster is:
STARTERS (15-1): Canan Moodie (Pretoria), David Kriel (Tuine), Cornal Hendricks (Northam Rhinos), Harold Vorster (Northam Rhinos), Madosh Tambwe (Pretoria), Chris Smith (Harlequin), Zak Burger (Tuine); Elrigh Louw (UP Tuks), Arno Botha (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), Marcell Coetzee (ABE Midas Naka Bulle, CAPT), Ruan Nortje (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), Walt Steenkamp (Tuine), Mornay Smith (Betway Centurion), Johan Grobbelaar (UP Tuks), Gerhard Steenekamp (ABE Midas Naka Bulle).
IMPACT (16-23): Bismarck du Plessis (Betway Centurion), Simphiwe Matanzima (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), Robert Hunt (Harlequin), Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria), WJ Steenkamp (Tuine); Embrose Papier (UP Tuks), Morne Steyn (Tuine), Kurt-Lee Arendse (Betway Centurion).
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]