Ryan up for second row scrap
22 Mar 2007
Highlanders lock James Ryan is wary of the threat posed by Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha.
Statistically the Bulls are the Super 14â€™s leading side in terms of lineout wins and lineout turnovers, due in no small part to Matfieldâ€™s potency in these facets of play. Ryan lauded both him and Botha saying that he is braced for “a huge challenge”.
“They are two of the best locks in the world and it is a great challenge. Playing them, you don’t ever have to struggle to get up for the game,” Ryan told the NZPA.
“Victor is such a good lineout man because he facilitates the lineout so well. One thing he does is control it and makes sure everything is going smoothly around him. That is a big factor in lineout success.
“He has good people around him, and his props are probably as tall as me. He also has a great ability to read what the opposition is doing in lineouts,” he said.
“Bakkies Botha is more confrontational. He gets around the field and does damage in that way.”
The Bulls were poor in their 32-10 loss to the Crusaders last week, and face another stern challenge this weekend at a ground theyâ€™ve only won at twice in Super Rugby history. Ryan however stressed that they were not complacent going into the match.
“The fact the Crusaders beat them has not helped us. We know they are a big pack and that we will have to muscle up at times, and we won’t shy away from that.”