Jaco van der Westhuyzen and Frikkie Welsh are set to return to the Bulls’ starting XV for their must-win Vodacom Super 14 match against the Cats at Loftus this weekend.
Van der Westhuyzen made an impact as a substitute in Brisbane and will probably replace Morne Steyn at flyhalf, whose poor defence contributed to two Reds tries.
Welsh has returned to Pretoria after a successful stint with Bath, and could bolster the Bulls’ midfield.
“I may bring in a couple experienced players like Jaco and Frikkie,” Meyer told Rapport. “It’s another issue as to why they were allowed to leave in the first place, but the fact is they are back with us and ready to make a contribution. You really need players like Jaco to be successful in this competition.”
The Bulls are just five points behind the fourth-placed Brumbies, but Meyer refused to speculate on his team’s chances of reaching the semi-finals.
“We aren’t looking ahead to the semis,” he said. “From here on we just want to fulfill our potential in every match we play.”
However, Meyer admitted he was frustrated by his side’s inability to close out matches.
“For the second time this season we have scored more tries than the opposition and still lost,” he said of the Reds defeat. “We also lost to the Brumbies in the last minute and were robbed by a poor decision [from TV referee Linston Manuels] against the Hurricanes. Despite all that we are fifth on the log.”
While Meyer isn’t looking ahead to the semis, his captain certainly is. Victor Matfield said the Bulls would have to win all of their remaining Super 14 matches if they wanted to sneak into the semi-finals.
“We have to win every game and get a few bonus points now to make the playoffs,” he said. “Fortunately, we’re going home and we have to stay positive. We know we’re a different team at Loftus.”
Bulls remaining matches:
22 April vs Cats (home)
29 April vs Sharks (home)
5 May vs Crusaders (home)
13 May vs Stormers (away)