Isn’t it a little ironic that after being considered the “flyhalf factory” of South Africa for the last few years – and supplying countless promising young pivots to other provinces – the Blue Bulls now find themselves panicking somewhat as they look for an adequate backup option to Morne Steyn for next year’s Super 15?
The most recent news sees the Pretoria union in an audacious bid to secure the services of Griquas flyhalf Naas Olivier, a pretty utilitarian player who failed to set the scene alight in his last big time gig, with Western Province, although he does look a solid Currie Cup option. This comes hot on the heels of report that the Bulls are poised to pay a hefty transfer fee to get another Griquas player – wing Bjorn Basson – into their squad. One wonders if they’re planning on digging a big hole just next to Loftus in order to make the guys feel at home!
Outside of Steyn, who is in serious need of rest after being quite chronically overplayed for he last two seasons, the Bulls only really have Francois Brummer as a flyhalf option and it’s safe to say that he is a payer who has unfortunately failed to deliver on his age-group promise. Jacques-Louis Potgieter – who is looking average even at Currie Cup level right now – is one his way to the Sharks, just the latest in a long line of flyhalf talent to leave Pretoria in recent years. Potgeiter, Len Olivier, Ruan Boshoff, Burton Francis and Divan Kotze are just some of the junior flyhalves to have turned their backs on Loftus, while the province’s schools have produced countless more who have left even before under 19, including Willie du Plessis, an Affies boy currently playing for the Sharks juniors.
An interesting snippet that may have missed their attention, though, is the fact that Pumas pivot Elgar Watts has apparently decided to return to Boland next season, after only a year in Witbank. Watts is currently the third-highest try scorer in the Currie Cup, despite playing for one of the weakest sides and appears to be the complete package. He was again very impressive against Western Province this weekend, scoring his side’s only try with a lovely break that had the Province defence at sixes and sevens. Have the Bulls missed a trick, in aiming for the somewhat average Olivier when Watts was quite clearly on the transfer market?Tweet