Bulls boosted as Olivier cleared - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulls boosted as Olivier cleared

20/05/2009 02:45:15 PM Comments (0)

The Bulls have received a boost with Springboks midfielder Wynand Olivier named to start the Super 14 rugby semi-final against the Crusaders in Pretoria on Sunday morning AEDT.

Olivier was in doubt after leaving the field with a hip injury during the Bulls' one-point win over the Sharks last weekend, but was named in the No 12 jersey by coach Frans Ludeke.

The table-topping Bulls were already without one of their midfielders, with centre JP Nel suspended for four weeks for a dangerous tackle on Sharks fullback Stefan Terblanche.

His appeal against the ban was expected to be heard late Wednesday AEDT.

The team are largely unchanged, aside from Gerhard van den Heever replacing Nel on the bench.

Jaco Pretorius will partner Olivier in the midfield.

Ludeke said there were clear must-improve areas from their defeat to the Crusaders earlier this season.

"They were tough opponents in the league stages of the competition in Christchurch and they had the better of us in the set pieces, but we are prepared to play and take them on for the full 80 minutes," Ludeke told the Super Sport website.

Captain Victor Matfield said semifinal fever in Pretoria was spurring the Bulls on.

"When we arrived at Loftus on Monday morning we saw all the people who have been camping at the stadium since Saturday night and that created a wonderful atmosphere, but we know it is only about what happens on the field," he said.

"We have worked hard to secure a home semifinal and our next goal is to get the right result on the weekend."

Bulls: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, Jaco Pretorius, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Victor Matfield (capt), Bakkies Botha, Werner Kruger, Derick Kuun, Gurthro Steenkamp. Res: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Rayno Gerber, Danie Rossouw, Pedrie Wannenburg, Heini Adams, Burton Francis, Gerhard van den Heever.

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