With so many Sprinboks away, do the Vodacom Blue Bulls have a realistic chance of winning this year's ABSA Currie Cup?
Yes, we did it in 2003
No, I don't believe in miracles

The Vodacom Bulls thank their fans for their great support during the 2007 Vodacom Super 14 season.

Bull force not in full Force
Posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - 14:29
Heyneke Meyer © Touchline PhotoThe Vodacom Blue Bulls’ friendly against the Western Force at Loftus Versfeld on 16 June will create an opportunity for many of the side’s peripherals to stake their claim ahead of the ABSA Currie Cup season.

With Gary Botha, Bakkies Botha, Jacques Cronjé, Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Victor Matfield, Wynand Olivier, Danie Rossouw, Jaco van der Westhuyzen and Pedrie Wannenburg all involved with the Springboks, the Men in Blue are missing a multitude of their front-liners.

The Blue Bulls are also missing their under-21’s who are currently doing World Cup duty. Werner Kruger, Adriaan Strauss, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Hilton Lobberts, Marius Delport, Bandise Maku, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Pierre Spies and Joey Mongalo all have senior experience, but will be in France for the national juniors’ title defence. Add to this the injuries to Richard Bands, Derick Hougaard, Danie Thiart, Kennedy Tsimba, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Andries Human, Johan Roets and Dries Scholtz, and the Blue Bulls have 27 players less to pick for their game against the Force.

On the plus side, Stefan Basson and Danwel Demas will be back from national sevens duty and should be ready to play.

The prop crisis will be offset by the arrival of Ryno Gerber, who will be filling in for the likes of Bands, Human and Thiart. Gerber has won rave reviews in Britain and coach Heyneke Meyer will be watching his progress with interest.

Likewise, the exciting Heinie Adams will be relishing the chance to start a game. Meyer might also use the match to experiment and rumour has it that Rudi Coetzee might fill the inside centre position. With Scholtz and Olivier out, this seems the likely option.

The rest of the side will be a mixture of Super 14 and Vodacom Cup players and should still be able to make life tough on the Force. The match will be played at 15:00. Adults pay R20 and children come in free.

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