29.9.2020 06:33 pm
It is just about a given that the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers will now go north and play against some of the best teams in Europe.
The Cheetahs will start "reviewing their options" after they were booted out of the Pro14 competition on Tuesday following a meeting by the General Council of SA Rugby.
“Our message to the players this week is that they should use this opportunity to understand the way we work,” said Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus.
“It’s a tough one because we know we have to go (to play in the Rugby Championship in Australia), but we just don’t know how it’s going to be possible.”
It is believed the Cheetahs could face a mass exodus of players should they lose their top-flight status.
Apart from the young Sevens tyros sparkling in the backline, coach Jake White has surrounded them with extremely experienced Springboks in 36-year-old flyhalf Morne Steyn, 37-year-old fullback Gio Aplon and 32-year-old Cornal Hendricks.
“There may even be an opportunity for one or two of them to get some match action if there is an injury or COVID-related issue during the week.”
“The atmosphere is what charges you up, it gives you more energy, so it is so much nicer to play with a crowd,” said Bulls captain and No 8 Duane Vermeulen
Lions coach Cash van Rooyen admitted they needed to do some polishing in order to find their best form after his team were left with too much to do in the second half.
While the backline steppers and speedsters stole the show, it was up front where the Bulls initially asserted their dominance.
The match was much tighter than the earlier contest between the Bulls and the Sharks, but it was clear from the start that the Lions scrum was in trouble, and this was where the Stormers managed to lay a platform.
The Bulls struck early to dominate their friendly match against the Sharks, in the first domestic rugby game to be played since March.
Rugby restarted in South Africa on Saturday, with a double-header of matches involving the four Super Rugby sides, after six months of no action because of the coronavirus.
It’s a pity the Cheetahs won’t be in action in Pretoria today otherwise Rassie Erasmus may have been able to cast an eye on the two Bok veterans, Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar
Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, and Jacques Nienaber, the newly-appointed Springbok head coach, selected the two 25-man squads on Friday evening in Johannesburg.
Stormers boss John Dobson meanwhile will be keen to see how several of his World Cup winning players, among them Siya Kolisi, perform after returning from injury.