Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
10 Jan 2021
11:01 am

Steyn and Van Zyl return for Bulls ahead of Currie Cup playoffs

Ken Borland

White has also increased the pressure on the Pumas by choosing a new-look tight five in which lock Jan Uys is the only player to retain his place.

Morne Steyn is back for the Bulls in their last round-robin match against the Pumas on Sunday. Picture: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

With the focus firmly on the Currie Cup semifinal later this month, Bulls coach Jake White has returned the first-choice halfback pairing of Morne Steyn and Ivan van Zyl to starting action against the Pumas on Sunday, but no-one else travelling to Nelspruit is guaranteed to be involved in the team to play the Lions at Loftus Versfeld.

Having beaten the Lions in mid-week in Pretoria, the result against the Pumas cannot change the fact that the Bulls will finish top of the log.

With three games in 10 days, White announced 11 changes on Saturday to the team that won the Gauteng derby.

Due to the Covid infection that swept through the squad, the in-form Steyn and Van Zyl have not started a match in a month, and White is obviously looking for them to provide the guidance needed to a very inexperienced backline against the hassling strategies of the Pumas, who always look to put the opposition off their game-plan.

White has also increased the pressure on the hosts by choosing a new-look tight five in which lock Jan Uys is the only player to retain his place.

Uys impressed against the Lions and another strong performance against the Pumas could see him force himself into the reckoning for the semifinal, depending on the fitness of Walt Steenkamp and Sintu Manjezi.

Loose forward Arno Botha, who will captain the team in Nelspruit, could also bring his physical presence to the semifinal, while wing Stravino Jacobs certainly improved his chances of playing with his solid showing in midweek.

The Bulls will at least have a more experienced replacement front row on the bench, with hooker Johan Grobbelaar and props Lizo Gqoboka and Marcel van der Merwe trying to ensure they stay in the squad for the playoffs.

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