There was a double dash of good news for the Blue Bulls’ Currie Cup rugby team on Tuesday.
Morris Gilbert writes in Beeld that Springbok wing Bryan Habana and Bok lock Danie Rossouw have both passed their fitness tests and will be able to take the field against the Cheetahs at 17:05 on Saturday in Bloemfontein.
This means that with the exception of prop Gurthrö Steenkamp and lock Bakkies Botha, the Bulls will be able to select their strongest available side.
Steenkamp underwent surgery on Monday after fracturing his left hand against the Cavaliers and Botha sustained a serious knee injury during the Tri-Nations series.
On top of the good news about Habana and Rossouw there also came the assurance from Vlok Cilliers, the Blue Bulls’ kicking coach, that there is no concern in the Bulls’ camp about the place-kicking form of flyhalf Morné Steyn. Cilliers conceded that Steyn did not come up to scratch in the Bulls’ last two games, but said this lapse was purely temporary.
“There is nothing wrong with Steyn’s technique or self-confidence,” said Cilliers. “He has been kicking consistently well during training. Yes, he did struggle against the Sharks, but that is the one field on which most other place-kickers also find it difficult to take accurate aim. It is especially difficult to judge the wind correctly.
“Against the Cavaliers he hit the upright once, and that could just as easily have been over. What I don’t doubt is that he will be a trump card for us again against the Cheetahs on Saturday.
“It’s actually as if he always puts his very best foot forward against them. Just think back to earlier in the season when he succeeded with eight kicks from nine in the Super14 match between the Cheetahs and ourselves. And that doesn’t include the drop goal he slotted so tidily.”
Meanwhile more and more theories are beginning to emerge about which teams will ultimately square up in the semifinals.
For all practical purposes the Sharks are already assured of their place because of their 42 points – which is the most that WP (fifth with 27) will be able to collect if they pick up maximum points in their three remaining matches.
All that the Sharks still have to do to make it officially through to the semis is beat the Falcons in Brakpan at the weekend.
The Bulls, too, can clinch a semifinal spot for the sixth successive year with a victory over the Cheetahs. The Bulls are in second position with 40 points and need only one win to qualify.
However, if they want a home semifinal, they will have to win all three remaining matches.Tweet