Morris Gilbert reports for the Beeld.
The Bulls, last year’s Super 14 champions, took a double blow on Monday night when prop forward Jaco Engels was suspended for three weeks while centre JP Nel will sit out for one match.
The Bulls, who play the Lions in Pretoria on Friday night, will now have to do without Nel, who spear-tackled Sharks fullback Frans Steyn at Loftus Versfeld last Saturday, and Engels, who punched Sharks captain Johann Muller.
However, there was some good news for the Bulls on the Blue Monday. World Cup Springboks Bakkies Botha and Bryan Habana have recovered from their injuries and are expected to return at lock and on the wing.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said on Monday his side should not be written off after successive defeats at home.
The champions have won only one of their first three matches of the year and are eleventh on the log. With four points, they are one behind the Lions, who are ninth on the log.
However, the Bulls were also slow out of the blocks during their best seasons of Super rugby.
In 2005, they lost their first three matches – to the Cats, the Brumbies and the Highlanders – but finished third before losing to the Waratahs in a semi-final in Sydney.
In 2006, they won two of their first three matches, against the Cheetahs and the Waratahs, but lost to the Brumbies. They reached the semi-finals and then lost to the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Last season, they won only one of their first three matches but finished second on the log to qualify for a home semi-final before beating the Sharks in the final in Durban.Tweet