Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Botha rested for Highlanders clash

Bakkies Botha

Experienced lock Bakkies Botha has been rested by the Bulls for this week's Super 15 encounter against the Highlanders with another veteran Danie Rossouw drafted in.

The change is the only one for the defending champions, who secured narrow victories over the Lions and Cheetahs in their opening two games so far.

Botha has been excluded as a precaution after bruising a foot last week. He drops out of the match 22 entirely with uncapped Juandre Kruger taking Rossouw's place on the bench.

Speaking ahead of the clash against the unbeaten visitors, coach Frans Ludeke said: "The New Zealand side will pose new challenges, as they have a different style to what we have encountered so far in the competition.

"They like to off-load in the tackle situation and are very competent at the breakdown. They will be a tough nut to crack."

Captain Victor Matfield is keen for his side to produce a consistent performance, something they have not managed in their opening two games.

He added: "We are happy with our position on the log, but not with the performances that got us there.

"We need to play for longer periods and not only produce 40 minutes here and 40 minutes there.

"This will be a huge challenge, but we trained well. We still need to execute on the day though."

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