The CA Brumbies have made 3 changes to their team which take on the Bulls at Loftus at the excellent TV rating time of 2:05am on Sunday. The Brumbies have named a side that includes Wallabies Matt Giteau and Rocky Elsom, after both were left out of the match day squad in last weeks win against the Force due to injury.
After a slight injury scare during the week, Giteau will take his place at fly half at the expense of Matt Toomua, who has been relegated to the bench due to his lack of experience in a utility role. Rocky Elsom takes the place of Mitchell Chapman and will be looking forward to his first game in Brumbies colours after enduring a niggling hamstring injury and was not a confirmed starter until medical staff evaluated him after the team flight over from Perth. Brumbies coach Andy Friend thought it was best to start Elsom instead of from the bench in case his hamstring cooled down after the team warm up and caused problems when it came time for him to take to the field.
The other addition to the scrum is Salesi Ma’afu in place of Guy Shepherdson, and along with Elsom will provide some much needed aggression to a pack that will need to be on their game to compete with a Bulls pack that has adjusted well to the new law interpretations. The Brumbies scrum will have to be well disciplined after last weeks sub par performance and not give away penalties in range of Bulls super boot Morne Steyn who last week kicked 9/10, and at Loftus is likely to kick penalties from 60m out such is his current form.
The backs match up is an interesting one with two new comers to the Bulls back line with Hougaard and Dippenaar making their season debuts and only the one change for the Brumbies in Giteau. The Bulls have shown they have no hangovers after Bryan Habana left the Bulls for the Cape with Wynand Olivier having an outstanding game against the Cheetahs and will be looking to continue that fine form. His match up with Christian Lealiifano will be interesting as the last time these teams met, Lealiifano snatched a win for the Brumbies with a last minute try.
Let’s hope that referee and amateur magician Mark Lawrence can pull a surprise from his pocket by leaving the whistle there and letting these teams fight out a good game.
|Fourie Du Preez
|Gerhard van den Heever
|Flip van der Merwe
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)