Bulls to self-quar­an­tine for 14 days

Re­cess will give Pote’s team the time for a slight re­think

Pretoria News - - UNPACKING INVESTMENT - SIBU­SISO MJIKELISO

MEM­BERS of the Bulls team, coach­ing and sup­port staff that trav­elled to Aus­tralia for their now post­poned tour will self-quar­an­tine for 14 days af­ter they ar­rive back in South Africa this evening, it has been con­firmed.

Souther- hemi­sphere rugby gov­ern­ing body Sanzaar is­sued a state­ment over the week­end that Su­per Rugby had been sus­pended – at the con­clu­sion of round seven matches – fol­low­ing the New Zealand gov­ern­ment’s 14-day self-iso­la­tion di­rec­tive to all re­turn­ing trav­ellers into the coun­try.

New Zealand’s ac­tions were in re­sponse to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic that has swept across the globe and brought most ma­jor sport­ing events to a halt. As a re­sult, the High­landers opted out of play­ing their match with the Jaguares at the Es­ta­dio Jose Amal­fi­tani in Buenos Aires and flew back home in­stead.

The Bulls, who lost 41-17 to the Reds in Bris­bane on Satur­day, will self-iso­late for 14 days in their own homes while the South African gov­ern­ment is mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion re­gard­ing the coro­n­avirus.

The Su­per Rugby side isn’t the only team af­fected, as Bulls man­age­ment also re­quested that their ju­nior play­ers as well as their Rugby Chal­lenge team, the Bulls XV, stay clear of Lof­tus for the fore­see­able fu­ture. This in­cludes first-team play­ers who did not travel with the tour­ing team, but have been con­sid­ered for Su­per Rugby selec­tion this sea­son.

“Ev­ery­one is in a bit of doubt but now it’s just a case of get­ting the boys back here and fig­ur­ing it out from there,” said Bulls me­dia man­ager Shanil Man­ga­roo.

While the rugby sched­ule is in a tail­spin, the re­cess will give teams like the Bulls time for a slight re­think be­fore Su­per Rugby, hope­fully, re­sumes in the next few weeks.

If Su­per Rugby’s sus­pen­sion isn’t ter­mi­nal for the 2020 sea­son, the Bulls should use this time to de­vise ways to get an 80-minute per­for­mance and a 23-man ef­fort from the team.

Be­tween the se­cond half against the High­landers at Lof­tus last week and the first 30 min­utes of Satur­day’s clash with the Reds, the Bulls pro­duced their most scin­til­lat­ing rugby of the sea­son.

While against the High­landers it proved to be a match-win­ning ef­fort, against the Reds in Bris­bane it proved to be noth­ing more than a short sharp burst that was quickly for­got­ten as the Reds scored 41 unan­swered points to win com­fort­ably.

Pote Hu­man’s team ran in three tries with­out re­ply on Satur­day, 12 points within the first 12 min­utes and came within five me­tres from Rosko Spec­man adding a fourth team try and a se­cond for him­self.

That Spec­man stop, af­fected by

Reds cap­tain Liam Wright close to their try­line, proved to be the turn­ing point. It gal­vanised the home team to hit back twice in the first half to go into the break just 17-14 down, when it could have eas­ily been 24-0.

The Reds came out re­fu­elled and re-en­er­gised and the Bulls were the op­po­site. They dropped their guard com­pletely and con­ceded ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion – things that the Reds had nei­ther of in that first half an hour – to their op­po­nents, who made them pay.

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THE Bulls should use Su­per Rugby’s sus­pen­sion to de­vise ways to get an 80-minute per­for­mance and a 23-man ef­fort from the team.

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