Injuries hamper Bulls

Bulls fullback Johan Roets and flyhalf Derick Hougaard are unlikely to be included in the Bulls match 22 for the crunch encounter against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Coach Heyneke Meyer has confirmed that Hougaard’s ankle injury is making good progress, but he would only be back in contention for selection for the Crusaders game in two weeks’ time.

“Derick will be back before the end of the season, but not on Saturday. He will probably be in the frame for the following weekend,” Meyer confirmed.

Roets too will probably be given another rest to get over his ankle niggle, after carrying it for much of the overseas tour. “Johan has struggled with his injury for awhile now and he needs rest. We will see how he goes this week,” said Meyer.

But as well as Roets has performed this year, Jaco van der Westhuyzen’s display in the No 15 jersey against the Cats will have eased the pressure on Meyer to rush Roets back into action.

The Springbok flyhalf-cum-fullback showed some of his best skills, especially joining the line at pace. “I actually think Jaco’s best position is fullback. He really is world class and he showed that against the Cats,” said Meyer.

Van der Westhuyzen is also an ultra-reliable goal-kicker, but after flyhalf Morne Steyn booted seven from nine at the weekend, his services will only be employed as back-up.

Steyn also showed why many rate him so highly with some excellent running, often getting across the gain line, while his distribution to his backline was superb. The ball reached the wings more often as a result of Steyn’s commanding display.

“We did try to move the ball more,” said Meyer, “because one of our great strengths is our backs. With Jaco and Frikkie (Welsh) adding experience, we were confident to throw it around.”

“We will move the ball more in future games,” he added.

By Andrew Hollely