Van der Merwe back for Bulls
Pretoria - The Bulls may be more relieved than anything else to have Springbok Marcel van der Merwe back ahead of this weekend’s crucial Super Rugby clash against the Cell C Sharks, but they know they’re in for a torrid time in the scrums.
The supersport.com website reports that way the Bulls have performed in the past few weeks in the setpiece has left much to be desired, and their injury woes in the front row are well publicised, but they know a repeat of their soft moments in the setpiece will see them again in the firing line this weekend.
There is no question that while it may be round three, the Bulls are in serious need of a victory, and to start digging themselves out of their own hole, they will need to beat one of the top sides in the competition.
The Sharks will pitch up at Loftus full of confidence knowing they have won here in recent times more often than not.
Add to that the dollup of confidence they received by chopping down a Lions pack that looked impressive going into the competition and the Bulls know they have their work cut out for them.
Van der Merwe arrived back in the team training with a massive smile on his face, wanting to inject some enthusiasm into the Bulls pack ahead of the massive clash.
“We know what sort of battle we face this weekend. The Lions have a good scrum and the Sharks overcame them with relative ease, so they will be dangerous. The Sharks put them under pressure and we know they will try and target us in that area this weekend. We know it will be a massive battle up front and we’re looking forward to it.”
Van der Merwe admitted it was frustrating for him not to be able to start the season after struggling with a knee injury sustained against Saracens.
“Every player wants to be on the field, wants to make a contribution to the team and it was frustrating sitting on the sidelines. But all I can do is now that I’m ready, I need to make sure if I come back into the team I’m ready to make that contribution.”
The Bulls face a tough time after losing their two opening games of the tournament, and had to play Bok loosehead Trevor Nyakane at tighthead against the Hurricanes.
With Van der Merwe back it is likely to revert back to the old Cheetah front row with Nyakane at loosehead, Adriaan Strauss at hooker and Van der Merwe at tighthead.
The Bulls will name their side Thursday.