The Bulls are expecting Sharks halfbacks Ruan Pienaar and Tony Brown to play in Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 match at Loftus.
According to the Pretoria News, Sharks coach Dick Muir “has a history of changing team line-ups shortly before the start of the game to gain some sort of advantage” but the Bulls “are not falling for the bait”.
Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer stopped short of accusing the Sharks of playing mind games, but said he was expecting Pienaar and Brown to play.
“We have heard that they are injured, but we are preparing for the game with them in it, it is that simple,” Meyer told Brenden Nel. “It’s early enough in the week for them to recover in time to take their places, so even if Dick doesn’t include them in his team selection, we’re preparing that they will be at Loftus on Saturday.
“The nice thing for the Bulls is that we are a side for the big occasions. The bigger the occasion, the more we rise. Saturday will be a test of character and guts and we need to show what we are worth. For that reason I’m taking charge of the forwards this week. We have a few things planned, and we could have a surprise or two for the Sharks.”
Meanwhile, flyhalf Derick Hougaard started training again after recovering from his ankle injuries, but is still an unlikely starter. Fullback Johan Roets will definitely miss the Sharks game, but Jaco Engels didn’t tear his calf muscle after all and should be fit to take his place in the team.