SA latest – Bulls lose Bakkies

Keo.co.za brings you news from South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises.

Bulls lose Bakkies – Bulls hard man Bakkies Botha won’t play at Newlands after failing to complete Tuesday’s training session.

Botha pulled up during a defence drill, and there is a possibility he could be out for next week’s crucial match against the Sharks as well. Danie Rossouw is likely to take his place in the second row, with Dewald Potgieter filling the void he leaves at blindside flank.

There was more disappointing news for the Bulls, with Fourie du Preez deemed unfit to play. The gifted scrumhalf said he felt ready, the Bulls’ medical team aren’t prepared to risk him.

Stormers’ Bok prop crocked – CJ van der Linde is battling a groin injury and won’t be available until the Super Rugby play-offs.

The Stormers’ management told keo.co.za on Tuesday that Van der Linde has been carrying an injury, and that playing further may aggravate it to the point where it becomes serious. As a result, Van der Linde has been placed on a rehabilitation programme and won’t feature in the last two league games.

The good news for the Stormers is that Peter Grant and Dewaldt Duvenage trained on Tuesday. At this stage, the Stormers aren’t willing to confirm whether the pair will be available to start, as further tests need to be completed before they are declared fit.

Bray disappointed in bumbling Saffas - Sanzar referee boss Lyndon Bray has condemned Craig Joubert and Pro Legoete’s decision making in sending off Waratahs lock Pat O’Connor at the weekend.

The incident came at a time when the Tahs were pushing hard for a critical victory over the Bulls.

Joubert red carded O’Connor on Legoeta’s recommendation. However O’Connor was cleared of wrongdoing by a Sanzar disciplinary panel on Monday, after no evidence of the offence he was accused of.

Bray told The Australian newspaper: ‘We reviewed the game on Monday night and clearly the decision was wrong. There are two aspects which are frustrating. The description of the event was not very accurate. The process between the referee and the assistant referee was not good. It never fleshed out the details of the incident.

‘I’ve spoken to Craig Joubert about how he could have handled it better, to get better information on which to base his decision. Craig was very disappointed he ended up with that decision. Referees are prone to make mistakes all the time,’ Bray added. ‘What we don’t want is a mistake to be compounded by a process that is not good.

‘An experienced referee’s job is to pick up on messages he is getting. When Pro said no to a red card, clearly there was a message in that.
It’s difficult in the heat of the moment. Craig believed he was dealing with a headbutt. If they had talked through what happened, maybe they would have come up with a different outcome.’

Reports suggest Legoete is in danger of being dropped from the Sanzar panel altogether, while Joubert was cautioned for the red card incident.

Viljoen off to Italy – Shortly after announcing the signing of Griquas flyhalf Naas Olivier, Aironi have confirmed the recruitment of Cheetahs flanker Frans Viljoen.

It will be Viljoen’s second stint in Europe after featuring for Stade Francais five years ago. The deal will see him in Italy for the next two years.