Bulls go full throttle for Connacht battle with Johan Goosen and Kurt-Lee Arendse

Bulls go full throttle for Connacht battle with Johan Goosen and Kurt-Lee Arendse

— Cape Town Bulls head coach Jake White has practically fielded his strongest possible team for Friday’s United Rugby Championship (URC) match at Loftus Versfeld. It is evident that White is still smarting after his team’s big loss to Connacht in Ireland last year.

With the exception of youthful Francois Klopper at tighthead prop, White has selected his finest team to seek retribution against the Irish team, which defeated the Pretoria squad 34-7 in Galway last September.

How about this defensive trio: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie, and Sbu Nkosi…

All three speedy players have returned from Rugby Championship duty with the Springboks and will be eager to prove their worth to the Bulls and earn a spot on the end-of-year tour to Europe next month.

While Arendse and Moodie are well-established at the Pretoria club, Nkosi will try to capitalize on his recent debut against the Lions.

However, Johan Goosen’s pick in the No. 10 jersey will garner the most interest. In last week’s 33-31 victory over Edinburgh at Loftus, he started at fullback and got a few touches, but was not actively engaged.

Now he must direct play as the pivot, as Bok coach Jacques Nienaber intends to use him on the November tour.

The inclusion of blindside flanker Marco van Staden in the loose trio will result in a double-threat at the breakdowns as the Bulls attempt to prevent Connacht from gaining early ball to attack with.

“It’s always great to see returning Springboks, especially when they look as well as Canan and Kurt-Lee. Sbu did not play for the Boks, but his confidence will remain strong because he was a member of the team. I have no doubt that he is ready to go, and this is his opportunity,” White said in a Thursday statement.

“Connacht is a perilous squad. We witnessed this during the previous competition, when they defeated us in Galway. Since then, a great deal has changed, and we now know what we must do this weekend.”

15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 David Kriel comprise the starting XV for the Bulls. 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Marco van Staden, 6 Marcell Coetzee (capt), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Francois Klopper, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp. Replacements: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, The lineup is as follows: 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Reinhardt Ludwig, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, and 23 Lionel Mapoe.


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