The Blue Bulls’ returning Springboks are all game breakers in their own right and could provide the X factor required for a desperately needed Currie Cup win against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Morris Gilbert writes in Beeld that this was the opinion of Johan van Graan, the Bulls’ forwards coach, who on Monday referred to the match between the two log leaders as a mini-final.
All the Bulls’ Boks who were part of South Africa’s disappointing Tri-Nations campaign were extremely enthusiastic on Monday about the contribution they could make in the remainder of the Currie Cup season.
Even star wing Bryan Habana was optimistic about his chances of playing against the Sharks, but there is still a big question mark over his hamstring injury.
Bulls physician Org Strauss said: “Bryan hasn’t run flat-out yet, because we don’t want to do anything that might aggravate his injury. We’ll be able to make an informed decision about his chances of being able to play only on Wednesday.”
Even though lock Danie Rossouw was injured during the morning’s practice session, Strauss believes he will take the field on Saturday.
“Danie bruised his heel in one of the line-outs. It’s a painful injury and it was decided, as a precautionary measure, that he would not take part in any further practice this week. He will, however, be available to play.”
Lock Victor Matfield, who will captain the Bulls, says he is itching to play Currie Cup rugby again.
“It’s nice to walk into a winning team, but at the same time the Bulls’ first position on the log puts pressure on the guys that are now returning from the Boks. But we couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity than a game against the Sharks.”
According to Van Graan the match against the Sharks will be the Bulls’ greatest test this season.
“Since beating the Griquas so convincingly in Kimberley the Sharks have gone from strength to strength and the return of their Springboks will make our task all the more difficult.
“They will definitely be a better side than the one we beat in the first round at Loftus. Our forwards in particular will be subjected to a massive baptism of fire and we are steeling ourselves for a physical battle in the set phases and at the breakdowns.”Tweet