Bulls captain Victor Matfield, who will front up to a disciplinary hearing on Monday, expects the try-scoring madness that marked the first two weekends of Super 14 action to continue.
Although Week One’s 30 tries were acceptable, considering the change in focus by match officials, Round Two produced an astonishing 52 tries – an average of over seven tries a game.
There was the aberration of the 18 tries between the Chiefs and Lions in Johannesburg, but even without that game the total for the weekend would have surpassed the opening round.
And Matfield – who was cited for striking Brumbies flank Rocky Elsom around the head area in the 16th minute of his team’s 50-32 win – said the tries will continue to flow in great abundance.
Matfield felt the change in focus by match officials, where tacklers are forced to first half ‘daylight’ between themselves and the tackled player, makes it more difficult to turn over possession.
“If you have the ball in the opposition 22, it’s basically only you who can lose the ball and not the opponents winning it,” the Bulls captain told a media gathering in Pretoria – after his team had recorded their second half-century of the season.
“It’s very difficult to get your hands on the ball. It brings the necessity for a new game discipline, like kick offs, line-outs and so on.
“If you make a mistake in your own territory and forfeit possession, it will probably mean a try to the opposition.”
While Matfield feels there will be many more tries in the weeks to come, he hopes it wouldn’t lead to the “crazy” situation of the 18 tries in the Chiefs’ 72-65 win over the Lions.
While the Bulls will be sweating on the outcome of Matfield’s hearing, in Pretoria on Monday, there is some positive news on the injury front.
There is some concern over the knee injury Pierre Spies suffered in the win over the Brumbies. It looked serious, as the burly No.8 looked in pain, but he continued playing and was only replaced late in the match.
He will be assessed and a decision made on Monday.
The good news is that Springbok Dewald Potgieter looks to have made a full recovery from the knee injury that sidelined him in the first two rounds and will be available for selection for the Bulls’ encounter with the Waratahs on Saturday.
The Bulls will most likely still be without the injured duo of lock Danie Rossouw (blow to the neck) and centre Jaco Pretorius (severe bruising of a leg muscle).
However, replacements Flip van der Merwe and Stephan Dippenaar showed the real depth in the Bulls squad.
The prognoses on the return of Bakkies Botha, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Akona Ndungane remain that they will return in March.
Article Courtesy of Rugby 365.Tweet