While the Bulls’ charmed season looks set to continue, Allister Coetzee’s Stormers will have a few fresh hurdles to overcome as they face the dangerous Brumbies in round 3.
When you start the week faced with the prospect of being without both Victor Matfield and Pierre Spies, finding that just one of them would be able to play would be a huge relief. For Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, though, it’s like Christmas has come around all over again. Not only was Matfield cleared on two separate cases of foul play for which he was cited, Spies has also been passed fit after a worrying knock to his knee against the Brumbies on Saturday.
Add to that the fact that the injured duo of Danie Rossouw and Dewald Potgieter both returned to full training and the Bulls find themselves just two players short of a full-strength pack. Bakkies Botha and Chilliboy Rallepele are still on the sidelines, but the Pretoria team look set to rack up a third successive fifty-pointer against a Waratahs team that was simply woeful against the Stormers last weekend.
Speaking about the Stormers, though, who look a little short of depth n the pack at the best of times, this weekend’s fixture has “banana peel” written all over it. Talismanic skipper Schalk Burger has been ruled out – possibly even for two weeks – while regular loosehead Wicus Blaauw will also miss out. To add to the concern, tighthead Brok Harris was also forced to miss training yesterday, along with flanker Francois Louw and hooker Tiaan Liebenberg. Should just one of these three fail to recover in time, the Stormers will be dipping pretty deep into their reserve pool against a Brumbies pack boasting a fair bit of beef.
Andries Bekker will step up and captain the team in Burger’s absence, with Pieter Louw occupying the vacant position at the side of the scrum.Tweet