Bulls centres under fire

Wynand Olivier and JP Nel are set to pay for their pathetic performance against the Brumbies last Friday.

The duo were responsible for two of the Brumbies three tries at Loftus. Clyde Rathbone’s try in the first half came after Matt Giteau broke through the Bulls midfield, while Olivier missed a crucial tackle in the lead up to Stirling Mortlock’s match-winning try after the siren.

“Wynand didn’t have a great game,” Bulls technical advisor John McFarland told the Pretoria News. “It was only his second game at this level, but the midfield pairing didn’t really work for us as a unit.

“You must remember they were playing against two Wallaby centres, who are masters of attack. They ran a few new lines at us and caught us unawares. The line Giteau ran on the first try was one that an inside centre doesn’t normally run.”

One positive for the Bulls from the Loftus defeat was the performance of flyhalf Derick Hougaard, who kicked six penalties (including a 55m monster three minutes from time) and a drop goal. Hougaard also became the Bulls highest scorer in Super Rugby and now has a tally of 173 points.

“It was great to get the record, but it doesn’t mean much if the team loses,” said the Boks’ 2003 World Cup flyhalf, before commenting on his own game. “Flyhalf is not just about kicking. I can become sharper on attack and am working hard to improve that aspect of my game. I have had a few ups and downs [since the World Cup] and I’m grateful to Heyneke Meyer who worked very hard with me. I’m really enjoying my rugby. Ge Korsten [who sings Loftus theme song "Liefling"] has never sounded as good as it did on Friday night.”