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3542 Topic: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
Beeno1

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Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 28, 2013, 13:42:00

Ex Supersport

The Vodacom Bulls could unleash a new dream midfield pairing ahead of their Gauteng Challenge game against the MTN Lions in Soweto on Saturday as they begin their preparations for a tough Vodacom Super Rugby season ahead.

While the Bulls were buoyed by the return of veteran Wynand Olivier from Japan on Monday, the blond midfielder will rejoin his teammates from Tuesday but will not be considered for this weekend’s match, even though it is reported he is injury free and raring to play.

It was initially feared that Olivier may miss the start of the season with his Japanese team’s progress in their domestic competition, but this hasn’t been the case and Olivier returned home to South Africa on the weekend.

With Francois Venter also been ruled out of action with a groin injury and not considered this week for selection, the Bulls are likely to play their import Lionel Mapoe at outside centre, while the inside centre position is likely to fall to IRB Junior Player of the year for 2012, Jan Serfontein.

The duo are expected to be a major part of the Bulls' plans for the season and it will be interesting to see how they gel, as both are known as influential attackers in the backline with Bok futures ahead of them.

While the coaching staff are likely to mix and match their selection for this game, giving opportunities to young players in a mix of youth and experience, there have been some players ruled out through injury.

With lock Wilhelm Steenkamp (shoulder), prop Marcel van der Merwe (knee) and prop Dean Greyling (stress fracture, foot) already ruled out through pre-season injuries, the list got a bit longer as team doctor Org Strauss confirmed that Boks Zane Kirchner and Werner Kruger are also not being considered for this weekend’s game.

Kirchner and Kruger both have back strains, while import hooker Callie Visagie is also out with a hamstring. All three should be ready for next weekend’s match against the Cheetahs in Polokwane.

Currie Cup captain Dewald Potgieter will rejoin training on Tuesday while fellow loose forward Jean Cooke will undergo a fitness test on Wednesday. But on the positive side, flyhalf Louis Fouche, utility back Ulrich Beyers, winger Akona Ndungane and flank/lock Grant Hattingh are all over their niggles and can be considered for selection.

The SA under-20s have also rejoined the team and will be considered for action, with IRB Junior Rugby World Championship winning captain Wian Liebenberg resuming training on Tuesday after a hamstring strain.

Serfontein and Mapoe will definitely be an interesting combo. But where is JJ - snapsters big center pick. Is he still with the bulle?


clevermike

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 28, 2013, 14:49:37

Beeno

Dream center combination - my ass.   Reference is made to Mapoe and Serfontein.  The latter is very good and deserve all accollades - Mapoe is to my mind a wing and not a center.   Strong runner - but no ball sense.   Would fit in nicely with the Bulls concept of center play though.

As to other aspects mentioned -

*   much ado about has  been Olivier as a crashball center; and

*   nothing about J J Engelbrecht (Saffex will have a seizure about that one).

I cannot see a dream center combination emanating from that lot since Serfontein will have no decent partner - so nothing to write about and the journalists create skyscrapers.    


Beeno1

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 28, 2013, 15:48:00

Mike do you think the bulle are stronger this season than last. In my opinion they look stronger.

This center combo is untried so we shall have to wait and see. Both players do have flair.


clevermike

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 28, 2013, 16:03:23

Beeno

Difficult to judge them at this stage - since we have no real indication of performances or anything to go by.   They look in the main that they are in the same groove as last year with -

*   backline not  really being affective;

*   unsound props; and

*   a problem with loosie selection

There could be an improvement if -

*   Hougaard can overcome his scrummie malaise that he showed last year;

*   Steyn can perform better from a kicking perspective - especially his goalkicking and strategic kicking;

*   Center performances can improve beyond the traditional (for the Bulls) crashball approach;

*   They can do something constructive as to prop selection; and

 *   They pick really good loosies like Botha and Liebenberg ahead of an under-performing Spies and the Potgieter dense donkeys.

Knowing the Bulls and especially the fact that the center play always leads to nothing - I cannot see how that problem will be overcome by a forward being the attack coach. 

In summary there is a possibility that the Bulls could suprise us all by their performances - but there are many ifs and buts - so it is really hard to make a prediction at this stage.. 


Beeno1

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 28, 2013, 16:38:12

Fair enough MIke. My call though is that they should be better. I cant see any reason why they should be in a further decline.  Apart from Stander who have they really lost from last year and they have gained a number of players and have young players a year older.

I am looking forward to see how Jan goes.


bluebok

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Posts: 1148
RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 28, 2013, 16:52:09

Look, the Bulls backline is not as lame as everybody keeps saying they are. Yes last year they were not at their best, but if you look at average tries scored per game over the last 5 or 6 seasons, I think you'll find the Bulls backline are up there with the best teams in Super Rugby, as far as tries scored per game! So Clever, the Bulls centres offer more than just a "crashball approach". Could they use their backline better, definately, but teams that ignore the Bulls backline threat, do so at their own risk.


mozart

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 28, 2013, 17:05:17

JJ Engelbrecht isn't even the Bools second choice at centre? But wasn't he sent to the Kings?


clevermike

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 28, 2013, 17:11:29

Bluebok

Maybe I am a bit harsh on the backline issue - but then I think all the backlines in SA is not comparable with those in New Zealand.  The Sharks probably came up with the best backline performances last year and the Stormers with the worst one.   Based on backline performances I would say that the Bulls was second or third in the SA conference - but they went sour in the CC and really was problematic in that competition.

I was asked to comment on whether I think the Bulls would be better than last year and tried to highlight the deficiencies as I saw them in the Bulls performances last year.   There can be improved upon - but it depends on how they develop around those deficiencies and whether they can improve on those.   I hope they do - and as stated before I support every SA team against anybody else - but will be harsh in criticism of SA teams if the under-perform.   Now I hope the Bulls gets it right - so lets see what happens.

 


Sharkbok

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 28, 2013, 19:43:59

 I think their might be 2- JJ Engelbrechts (one a the back and the other a forward, with the forward being at the Kings)- Although I could be wrong, maybe the Bulls have got rid of him along with Sadie

Johan Sadie got the blame for the defensive lapses and JJ EngelBrecht got his position at outside center.

 

 

 


Saffex

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 29, 2013, 01:58:56

No you dimwits, the Engelbrecht with the Kings is a loosie - get with the programme.

 

Why on earth would the Bulls get rid of JJ, one of their rising stars?


clevermike

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 29, 2013, 04:46:59

Saffex

Engelbrecht was nothing but a failure on CC level last year and he definitely is not even mentioned as a potential Bulls center anymore.   I think the real problem was at flyhalf and 12 - makig Ebgelbrecht looks like  palooka - but that is neither here nor there.   He has a lot to do to prove that he should be in the mix this year and hope he gets the opportunity to do so - that is if he is a center at all and not a wing. 

 


Boklogic

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Posts: 1903
RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 29, 2013, 06:02:38

People skills Dave. Please man!!

Could you not have said, "Hey guys. The Engelbrecht with the Kings is...." Do you have to start with dimwits and immediately get people's backs up? Seriously man, you need to sort that shit out because its a serious character flaw and wont help your cause in getting people to take you seriously and wana engage in debate with you!

 

JJ Engelbrecht is probably with the Bulls still but no need to see him at 13. They have seen enough during the CC and probably wana move on pretty quickly from that idea.


Saffex

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 29, 2013, 16:52:51

Not really Boklog, as you will find the posters who raised the issue on JJ are a bunch of dimwits, with you heading that list - you happy now.

 

Mike stop speaking utter crap re JJ's form last year, he impressed enough to make the Bok squad for a reason, only to have the coach expose himself for the clown he was dropping the likes of JJ and Jantjies without giving them a chance.

 

Mike you should not comment on centre play as you know fuck all about what constitues a good centre. Frans Venter for the Bulls was good at 12 and is a great prospect


clevermike

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 29, 2013, 19:08:46

Saffex

Since as you said - I know fuck-all about center play - and in an effort to learn from an expert like you - I under another thread asked some simple questions as to what a center should do when a ball is passed to him.   You have not bothered to answer that simple question and other questions asscoiated with it as yet.  I really am looking forward to your comments in an effort to enhance my knowledge of rugby.  


Capone

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Posts: 176
RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 30, 2013, 08:30:15

Making the Bok squad these days doesn’t seem to be that difficult anymore. Where are the days when you actually needed talent to get in?

Olivier is useless … he has always been useless. One of the most selfish players around. Running off to Japan to make a bit of coin would have exposed him to a lower standard of play. Most has-beens, never-beens and wannabes are running around that part of the world pretending that they’re actually still playing rugby.

Hilarious!!

He will return to this part of the world worse off than when he left and we all know how poor he was then.

Serfontein is an awesome talent. Look very much forward to him developing into what should be a bright future.

At the Bulls however…???  …. Hmmmmm??? … maybe that’s a bad choice of team to assign yourself to. Especially at center. When last did we hear of a Bulls center making the national squad??

Don’t point your finger at Olivier … please … he should never have been allowed anywhere near the Bok camp.

Dream center pair. Serfontein & Mapoe? It can work. It might take a few matches but I think it could work.

Hopefully ol Morne Steyn won't kick all the possession away like he usually does.

 

 


Saffex

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 30, 2013, 16:17:57

Olivier was good in his day but is past it. The Bulls are playing their B side this weekend but they have depth at centre in JJ Engelbrecht, Serfontein, Frans Venter, Dries Swanepoel, Mapoe and Small-Smith.

 

Their best combo would be 12. Serfontein 13. JJ


clevermike

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 30, 2013, 17:16:21

Saffex

Engelbrecht better start performing well - because if he played as badly as he did in the CC competition - he will be sent to the Kings and the Bulls will pay the EP to take him over.  He was a dead loss in those games and contributed magnificiently to bad losses suffered by the Bulls.   I somtimes windered whether he was not playing for the opposing teams - he was so wicked. 


Saffex

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 30, 2013, 21:37:22

Crap, JJ made the best breaks from a SA 13 last season, the guy showed real class with ball in hand.

 

Like most wings who move to centre, he had some lapses in defence - this has stuff all to do with his ability in the tackle but more about the different art of defending at 13.

 

By the end of the CC he had sorted this out. Of all the SA centre combo's in the S15 this year, only the Sharks with Frans and Jordaan, should challenge the Bulls pair of Serfontein and JJ for top honours. Both sides have depth in that the Sharks have Whithead and Mjekevu - the Bulls have Frans Venter and Dries Swanepoel.

 

The Stormers will sadly stick with Jean and de Jongh at centre, when in fact they could add real clout if they used Taute, de Allende, Howard and JP du Plessis at centre


clevermike

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 31, 2013, 00:13:16

Saffex

I ca remember one or two breaks Engelbrecht  made in Super 15 - gaining about 10 meters over the gain line each time - bmade the best breaks from a SA 13 last seasonut then ending in mauls - nothing decisive leading to tries being scored,   Nothing to say that  he  "made the best breaks from a SA 13 last season'.

What is interesting is your statement   '  Like most wings who move to centre, he had some lapses in defence'.   Does that apply to full backs that move to center as well?    I do not believe Engelbrecht sort out that problem on CC level at all.    Engelbrecht's poor defence contributed sigbificantly to the record score losses of the Buls in CC and what was much worse - he contributed zilch to attacking play on CC level.   He has a very long way to go before he can establish himself on Super 15 level - but unless he improves drastically this year - he will not make the grade on that level.

He is at best a crashballer - we have enough of those around.  I hope he does improve - but the odds are against iit if his CC performances are borne in mind.     


Saffex

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 31, 2013, 00:20:32

Mike catch a bloody wake up, every break does not lead to a try for crying out loud.

 

As I have said numerous times you know fuck all about centre play. A centre who is able to beat the man with a good step or swerve as JJ did last year is not a crashballer - wake up - your ignorance is irritating to say the least


Sharkbok

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Posts: 3430
RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 31, 2013, 01:30:24

 Olivier (Missie) playing for the Bulls vs playing for the Boks was like Jekyl and Hyde.

For the Bulls he was often the best inside center for South Africa in the SuperXV. He was creative, ran good lines, good passer. 

For the boks he transformed into a one dimensional crash ball. Not sure why but he never made an impression for the boks as an attacking player.

On Defence he was allways strong for the Boks and Bulls. 

-

 


Saffex

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 31, 2013, 02:15:39

Welcome back Shark!! Agreed on Olivier. The reason Olivier never set the world alight at test level is obvious. He was never able to settle at 12 and rightly so as Jean was a proven test 12.

 

Olivier always had to live in Jean's shadow. It must have been tough playing test rugby knowing it was a temporary arrangement. Many of his caps were off the bench or out of position at 13 or on the wing.

 

He never really had an exended run at 12 for the Boks. If Jean had not existed, I am sure Olivier would have reproduced his Buls form for the Boks. Olivier must feel like all the Kiwi flyhalves who have lived in Carter's shadow.


clevermike

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RE: Bulls to unleash dream ceter combo
January 31, 2013, 08:25:17

Saffex

Funny enough I agree with you about Olivier.  There was indeed a huge difference between his performances oin Super 15 level and those on Springbok level.   However, that brings to the fore another issue and that is the style of play by the backline.   Somehow the style changed in the past three years and utimately lead to very poor backline play.  

*    The flyhalf became more kick-orientated and less of an attacking player.

*    The centers became crash ball specialists and not very affective at that either.

Take for example the way De Villiers played priror to 2008 and the way jhe played in later years.   There is a huge difference in that situation.   De Villiers showed earlier on that he has an advanced skills set - since 2010 that went AWOL in 2011-12 and he is not much more than a crashballer at present.   Francois Steyn showed similar tendencies to De Villiers earlier in his career - but in 2012 only crashballed and showed zilch skill and very little otherwise. The other centers used - Olivier included - played crashball or showed no real skills ar all - De Jongh in particular was atroccious.  

Now back to the question of Olivier.   One would like to see how he performs outside of a more attack-minded flyhalf and he may just get more opportunities this year - since I am sure Morne Steyn will be phased out gradually by the Bulls in view of his departure after Super 15 to France.


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