Currie Cup

Early Bulls return for Bakkies

2010-08-02 23:09
Bakkies Botha (Gallo Images)
JJ Harmse

Pretoria – The Blue Bulls always believe that a glass is half full rather than half empty, and that every dark cloud has a silver lining.

Take Bakkies Botha, for example.

The Springbok lock was due to undergo a thorough conditioning programme at the end of the Tri-Nations and would then only have been available for the Blue Bulls for the semi-finals of the Currie Cup.

However, he may now run out for the Bulls on September 11 against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Botha’s suspension of nine weeks ends on September 4, but in the meantime the big lock is working hard in the gym and on the training field, where he is focusing on strength and speed.

His suspension from Test rugby may therefore indirectly help the Blue Bulls to successfully defend the Currie Cup.

Quite ironically, Botha and his anticipated successor at the Bulls and Springboks – Flip van der Merwe – trained sprints together at Loftus Versfeld on Monday.

Botha and Bok team-mate Victor Matfield sweated together and a while later Van der Merwe also got in a few runs with the team preparing for Friday’s game against the Leopards.

Van der Merwe will appear in a judicial hearing in Johannesburg on Tuesday after being cited for an alleged punch in the match against the Lions.

The fact that he ran separately from the other players in the final training session points to the Bulls anticipating a suspension.

Van der Merwe’s citing along with that of  the Lions’ Trevor Hall emphasises how tough things can get in the heat of the battle.

Fudge Mabeta should replace Van der Merwe if the 25-year-old Bok lock is found guilty.

Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke showed his hand a little ahead of the Leopards clash and it appears as if Bok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle will be in the starting line-up.

Gary Botha is expected to be rested and Ralepelle gets his first start of the year.

Derick Kuün is expected to captain the side.

Scrumhalf Francois Hougaard has been passed fit after being troubled by a calf injury.

Read more on:    blue bulls  |  currie cup
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
45 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @04:00
  • SS4
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @05:00
  • SS5
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @05:59
  • SS7
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
08 August 2014
Eastern Province Kings v Western Province, Port Elizabeth 19:10
09 August 2014
Griquas v Sharks, Kimberley 15:00
Golden Lions v Blue Bulls, Johannesburg 17:05
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs, Nelspruit 19:10
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Vote

Who will be crowned 2013 Currie Cup champions?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.