Kirwan rings the changes for Bulls

10 Mar 2013
Round 4
Blues v Bulls
21 - 28
4:05 p.m., Eden Park - 25,112 in attendance
(HT 6 - 15)

Blues
Charles Piutau, Rene Ranger tries; Baden Kerr 3 pens, con

Bulls
Lionel Mapoe, Akpona Ndungane, Arno Botha tries; Morne Steyn 3 pens 2 cons


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Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan has made wholesale changes to his team for Sunday’s clash with the Bulls at Eden Park as he looks to give new players an opportunity to impress.

There are six personnel changes to the starting XV and four to the reserves bench.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Kirwan said.

“If we’re going to be successful now and in the future then we need to have a full squad and we need to have internal competition so it was about giving the guys that have worked really hard in the off-season the opportunity to step up.”

Tasman prop Tim Perry will make his Super Rugby debut in place of Tom McCartney, while Quentin MacDonald replaces James Parsons at hooker.

Liaki Moli will start ahead of Culum Retallick at lock and Steven Luatua shifts to the back of the scrum to replace Peter Saili as Kane Barrett slots in at blindside flanker.

In the backs, Baden Kerr will make his first start in the number 10 jersey in place of Chris Noakes while Taranaki wing Waisake Naholo will make his Super Rugby debut on the left wing. 

Ronald Raaymakers, Marty McKenzie and Jamison Gibson-Park are all poised to make their Super Rugby debuts after being named on the bench.

Like the Blues, the Bulls have won their first two games to lead the South African Conference. Kirwan said this was “the biggest test yet” for his team and that the Bulls posed a much different challenge from their previous matches.

“When you play New Zealand franchises you’re playing teams with the same philosophy, a philosophy of ‘let’s play football and may the best team win’ but I think the Africans pose a different challenge,” Kirwan said.

“They are a bit more brutal, they play to their strengths, they bash you up and are very physical and aggressive so we’ve got to be ready for that.”

After a 31,014 strong crowd converged on Eden Park for the Blues’ first home game of the season last week, Kirwan said he was hoping for another bumper crowd on Sunday afternoon.

“We were so proud last week at the amount of people who turned up and we hope it’s going to be another bumper crowd this week,” he said.

“The head office has been working really hard to try and get a Sunday afternoon fixture for us so it can be a family day. We want to earn a fan; we went a long way to doing that last week and we just need to reinforce this week giving people a good time when they come to the Park.”

Starting XV

Reserves

Comments

ROUND 2

29

Highlanders v
Blues

Sat 22 Feb 2014
7:35pm

21

35

Blues v
Crusaders

Fri 28 Feb 2014
7:35pm

24

38

Bulls v
Blues

Sun 9 Mar 2014
4:05am

22

39

Lions v
Blues

Sun 16 Mar 2014
2am

36

40

Blues v
Cheetahs

Sat 22 Mar 2014
7:35pm

30

30

Blues v
Highlanders

Sat 29 Mar 2014
7:35pm

12

26

Brumbies v
Blues

Fri 4 Apr 2014
9:40pm

9

39

Hurricanes v
Blues

Fri 18 Apr 2014
7:35pm

20

21

Blues v
Waratahs

Fri 25 Apr 2014
5:35pm

13

44

Blues v
Reds

Fri 2 May 2014
7:35pm

14

32

Chiefs v
Blues

Fri 9 May 2014
7:35pm

20

23

Blues v
Sharks

Fri 23 May 2014
7:35pm

29

37

Blues v
Hurricanes

Sat 31 May 2014
7:35pm

24

14

Force v
Blues

Sat 28 Jun 2014
11:35pm

44

21

Crusaders v
Blues

Sat 5 Jul 2014
7:35pm

13

8

Blues v
Chiefs

Fri 11 Jul 2014
7:35pm

11

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2013 Points Table

Team P W D L B BP Points
Chiefs 16 12 0 4 0 10 66
Bulls 16 12 0 4 0 7 63
Brumbies 16 10 2 4 0 8 60
Crusaders 16 11 0 5 0 8 60
Reds 16 10 2 4 0 6 58
Cheetahs 16 10 0 6 0 6 54
Stormers 16 9 0 7 0 6 50
Sharks 16 8 0 8 0 8 48
Waratahs 16 8 0 8 0 5 45
Blues 16 6 0 10 2 12 44
Hurricanes 16 6 0 10 0 9 41
Rebels 16 5 0 11 0 9 37
Force 16 4 1 11 0 5 31
Highlanders 16 3 0 13 0 9 29
Kings 16 3 1 12 0 2 24
Full Results

2013 Draw & Results

Round Date Match Result
2 23 Feb v Hurricanes W 20 - 34
3 1 Mar v Crusaders W 34 - 15
4 10 Mar v Bulls L 21 - 28
6 24 Mar v Waratahs L 30 - 27
7 30 Mar v Chiefs L 23 - 16
8 5 Apr v Highlanders W 29 - 18
9 13 Apr v Hurricanes W 28 - 6
11 26 Apr v Reds L 12 - 11
12 3 May v Stormers W 18 - 17
13 11 May v Rebels W 36 - 32
14 18 May v Crusaders L 23 - 3
15 25 May v Brumbies L 13 - 20
16 1 Jun v Highlanders L 38 - 28
18 30 Jun v Sharks L 22 - 20
19 7 Jul v Cheetahs L 34 - 13
20 13 Jul v Chiefs L 16 - 26
Full Results