The Blue Bulls are numerate enough to be able to figure out for themselves that following their defeat against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday they can no longer finish as Currie Cup log leaders on their own steam.
To get to first place the Bulls not only have to win all their remaining four games, but also have to depend on the Sharks going down to the Cheetahs or Lions.
Morris Gilbert writes in Beeld that while the Bulls are still in second position, at least, thanks to the Cheetahs’ defeat against Western Province, they still face away games against the equally desperate Free Staters and Griquas.
Everything points to the clash against the Cheetahs on September 20 in Bloemfontein possibly assuming the nature of a “final” for second position.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke conceded on Sunday that his team needs a favour or two from the other contenders to play a semifinal at home.
“The defeat against the Sharks was a big setback, but the picture can still change quite a lot over the next four weeks.
“For us it’s important not to lose again, because that is something we can control. As far as the rest is concerned, we can only hope for the best.”
The Bulls will have to show as early as Friday night against the Cavaliers how much they’ve learned from the mistakes that cost them the match against the Sharks.
Missed out on second bonus point
It is unlikely that Morné Steyn will kick so pathetically again this season. He could slot only two kicks from a total of seven and one has to wonder out loud why the last penalty wasn’t entrusted to replacement Burton Francis instead. A successful kick would have meant a second bonus point for the Bulls.
Similarly, Tiger Mangweni will have no excuse for the certain try that he threw away by knocking on the ball with an open try line in front of him.
The fact that both Steyn and Mangweni had their first real off-days of the season in such a critical match could yet come back to haunt the Bulls further down the line.
Victor Matfield looks to be the only Springbok that will be rested against the Cavaliers. The only injured player causing quite serious concern is centre Wynand Olivier, who turned in an outstanding performance against the Sharks. He took a severe knock on his hip.Tweet