Preview: Bulls v EP Kings
There will be plenty at stake when the Bulls host the Kings in Pretoria as both sides are desperate to break their ducks in the points standings.
As expected, the Kings are battling against the big boys in the Premier Division while pressure is building on Bulls coach Frans Ludeke after his side's poor performances in their defeats to the Golden Lions and Western Province in their opening matches.
Although these sides are at the bottom of the table, they have contrasting styles. The Bulls are renowned for their forward orientated style of play while the Kings have shown that they are willing to run the ball from all areas of the park.
Ludeke has made seven changes to his starting team with Jesse Kriel, William Small-Smith, Tony Jantjies, Rudi Paige, Bongi Mbonambi all making their first appearances in the starting XV this season for the men from Pretoria.
Bulls captain Deon Stegmann is expecting a good effort from the new starters.
"They will bring their own energy and enthusiasm, which is important for the team," he said.
"The Kings will try to get us off our game and run us off our feet, so it will be important for us to keep our composure, use the ball better and to defend very well. I am confident that we can do that."
Although the Bulls are in the midst of a slump, the visitors know that teams seldom come away from Loftus Versfeld victorious.
The Kings suffered a humiliating 60-19 defeat to the Lions last weekend and the Port Elizabeth-based side's coach Carlos Spencer expects a much improved effort from his troops.
"We have spoken all week about the need for urgency and commitment, which is something we lacked in abundance against the Lions," said Spencer.
"We know the Bulls have their backs to the wall and will come out firing, and if we don't match that aggression, we will come second."
Prediction:Homeground advantage and a superior pack help the Bulls to secure their first win of the season. Bulls to win by seven points!
Put your money where your mouth is
Blue Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudi Paige, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Wiaan Liebenburg, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Ulrich Beyers.
EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Luke Watson (capt), 7 Paul Schoeman, 6 Stefan Willemse, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Mike van Vuuren, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Steven Cummins, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Jaco Grobler, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Siyanda Grey.
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Cobus Wessels
Television match official: Johan Greeff