In the aftermath of their semi-final win against Western Province, Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais spoke about hatching a plan in order to beat the rampant and unbeaten Free State Cheetahs in Saturday’s final in Bloemfontein.
Well those plans could be revealed as early as today . And even though it will give the Cheetahs enough time to make counter arrangements, the Bulls will head into the final feeling confident they can deliver the fatal blow to a Cheetahs side that has had a relatively easy ride to the ultimate match.
“I think the Cheetahs are an excellent side and they haven’t lost a game. All the momentum is with them at the moment but our side is playing good rugby and we’ll have one or two plans up our sleeve,” Marais said.
While the Bulls have suffered a blow with the injury to fullback Ulrich Beyers, who has been ruled out of the final because of a dislocated shoulder, there was a sudden turn of events that could see talented lock RG Snyman feature.
Snyman had been ruled out of playing in the final and his prospects of making the Springboks end of year tour to Europe also dashed when he was suspected to have suffered a fractured skull on Saturday.
However, upon further medical tests and scans the nature of Snyman’s injury was diagnosed as not being as serious as initially thought and yesterday the former Affies lock underwent a procedure to fix the ‘minor fracture’ on his sinus.
“RG got a minor fracture on sinus, minor. He consulted a specialists and had a minor procedure performed today (yesterday). and his recovery will be much sooner than initially expected,” said Bulls team doctor Herman Rossouw.
If the results of the procedure go well then Marais could unveil his first plan on how to beat the Cheetahs by making sure that the 21-year-old Snyman lines up in his rightful place in the Bulls second row alongside fellow lock Marvin Orie.
The injury to Beyers will certainly see Marais implement his second part of the plan to unseat the Cheetahs with Bjorn Basson likely to take over at fullback and make for a lethal back three with in-form wings Jamba Ulengo and Travis Ismaiel.
While Basson has not featured much this season for the Bulls because of injury and the form of Ulengo and Ismaiel, his brief appearances at fullback as a replacement have struck the right note.
Basson’s return to the team could be that rub of the green that the Bulls need.