Bulls Goosen and Smith embrace each other. Photo Gallo Images

Bulls duo Chris Smith and Johan Goosen embrace each other. Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images.

Smith cracks nod at flyhalf, Goosen shifted to fullback for Bulls

Jake White shifts Johan Goosen to fullback to accommodate selection of Chris Smith at flyhalf for Bulls’ URC match against the Sharks.

Bulls Goosen and Smith embrace each other. Photo Gallo Images

Bulls duo Chris Smith and Johan Goosen embrace each other. Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images.

Jake White has shifted Johan Goosen to fullback to accommodate the selection of Chris Smith at flyhalf for the Bulls’ URC match against the Sharks in Durban.

Goosen was the starting No 10 for the Bulls against the Stormers last weekend, but failed to make the desired impact and was hooked off in the second half with Smith coming on as his replacement.

White has now made the call to reward Smith with a starting role as the playmaker, with Goosen moved to fullback. Bernard van der Linde slots in at scrumhalf with Embrose Papier relegated to the bench to be used as impact player.

Springbok speedster, Canan Moodie will start at right wing with Harold Vorster and Cornal Hendricks pairing up at inside and outside centre respectively.

ALSO READ: Kolisi to lead Springbok-powered Sharks lineup for Bulls showdown

Up front, Simphiwe Matanzima will start at loosehead prop supported by Johan Grobbelaar and Mornay Smith in the front row whilst the second and back row remains the same as the one that did duty the week before.

Hooker, Jan-Hendrik Wessels and utility back, David Kriel complete the list of new faces in the match-day 23.

Commenting on his selections, White said: “Last time we played them we actually picked Smith and Goosen at 10 and 15 and the combination worked, we played reasonably well. Giving us two kickers and two passes, two kicking options which help us a lot. There is also a chance of rain tomorrow and that will suit us a bit with the two at fly half and full back.”

“Our selection is not a reaction to them but it is because it is a tactic that worked for us when we played them at home and we would like to see it work again from a combination of two guys who understand each other.”

“Sometimes you have to package things differently in order to get the best out of your players.”

“Van der Linde played well for us against Lyon and it will be good to see him in the field again for us. It will be an interesting game because of the chance of rain and Van der Linde’s ability to kick.”

ALSO READ: Mapoe amped for enticing midfield battle as Bulls head for Shark-infested waters

“A guy like Simphiwe, I felt after Saturday, I have not given him enough game time. I could see the frustration in his eyes that he did not have enough time to stamp his authority. He scrummed really well and I was probably conservative in giving the front row more time since they played so well. So, I felt I needed to give Simphiwe more time this week.”

“This will be a good test for him, scrumming with Grobbies and Mornay and this will be a good test for him to see how he plays as a starter.”

“He is a loosehead prop chomping at the bid to start and he is ready to give us a good game. Sometimes when you create competition at certain positions, you get different results out of each person.”

ALSO READ: Stormers coach hits out at Bulls over Engelbrecht citing


Bulls — 1 Simphiwe Matanzima, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 3 Mornay Smith, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 5 Ruan Nortje (captain), 6 Marco Van Staden, 7 Cyle Brink, 8 Elrigh Louw, 9 Bernard van der Linde, 10 Chris Smith, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 12 Harold Vorster, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 14 Canan Moodie, 15 Johan Goosen.
Subs: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Sebastian Lombard, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 David Kriel.

Goosen at fullback in Bulls team graphic for Sharks
The Bulls team graphic ahead of their URC game against the Sharks.