The Bulls are faced with two tricky derbies against their fiercest rivals and this without some of their key Springboks with centre Jan Serfontein set to miss the Sharks clash in order to be fighting fit for the game against the Stormers and their tour abroad.
Bulls doctor Org Strauss yesterday confirmed that Serfontein won’t be playing against the Sharks as the Bulls are giving him a third week to recover from a hamstring injury and honour their agreement with Saru to rest their Springboks.
“Jan is pretty much fit to play but we have chosen to give him a further week rest.
“He is over his injury but with Burger Odendaal playing so well we made the decision to give Jan further time to rest,” said Strauss.
The Bulls have also been hit with the withdrawal of flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter who is struggling with a hamstring injury but the side will be well covered at pivot with the return of Handré Pollard.
While Serfontein’s absence is a blow to the Bulls, Rossouw is of the belief that Odendaal will plug the gap perfectly in the same way he has done in the past three weeks against the Crusaders, Lions and Reds.
“Burger has been playing well since the Currie Cup last year and easily made the step up into Super Rugby. We are in a very fortunate situation at the moment where we have good centres who are playing well,” Rossouw said.
Rossouw says it is important for the Bulls not to get carried away with the hype of their coming games and should focus solely on the Sharks.
The Bulls will also have to shake a monkey off their back in terms of winning away from home as the only game they have won outside Loftus in the past two seasons was their win against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this year.
If they can beat the Sharks and Stormers in the next two weeks, the Bulls will be well-equipped to deal with the challenges of their tour abroad.
“They are running their own race and we will focus on what we need to do. It is important for us to win away from home and we have prepared adequately for that. We clearly need to win away from home and the next two away games will be critical in us attaining that goal,” said Rossouw. - The Star
Original source: Bulls out to banish away day blues