I love running rugby and that is one of the big things I found attractive about the Cheetahs
Johann Sadie has been bleating about a lack of game time and wanting to play an expansive game. Those were among his principle reasons for leaving the Bulls and joining the Cheetahs.
However, not only did he play 448 minutes for the Bulls this season - not bad for a 23-year-old who is reportedly on a contract of about ZAR1.4-million - but Sadie will have even stiffer competition in Bloemfontein than he had in Pretoria.
By his own admission, Sadie will be competing with Sevens Springbok Robert Ebersohn and one-time Bok Andries Strauss for a midfield starting place in Bloemfontein.
However, more telling is the amount of game time he had at the Bulls before injuries and his own lack of form saw fellow Stormers/WP recruit JJ Engelbrecht overtake him in the pecking order in Pretoria.
Let us look at the facts first, then we will given you Sadie's views.
As we said, he played a total of 448 minutes for the Bulls in Super Rugby this year - starting in seven games and coming off the bench a further three times.
Sadie started for the Bulls against the Sharks in Round One, where he played only 13 minutes before he left the field and missed three weeks through an AC Joint injury.
He returned to start against the Reds (played 54 minutes), started against the Stormers (50 minutes), started against the Crusaders (50 minutes), then came off the bench against the Lions (13 minutes), came off the bench against the Brumbies (20 minutes), came off the bench against the Rebels (25 minutes), started against the Waratahs (55 minutes), started against the Highlanders (played 62 minutes) and started against the Chiefs (46 minutes).
Sadie then missed the games against the Stormers, Cheetahs, Sharks, Lions and Crusaders through a hamstring injury.
That means he started in seven games, was on the bench in three matches and missed seven matches through injury.
It is hardly the Bulls' fault that he was injured so often and given that they won seven of the 10 games he featured in, it was not exactly a horror run either.
Sadie, who was contracted to the Bulls until the end of October 2013, will now join the Cheetahs after the completion of the 2012 Currie Cup competition.
The Bulls expect him to still play a significant role in their Currie Cup campaign.
"We still see him, along with the likes of CJ Stander [leaving for Munster at the end of the season], as pivotal to our Currie Cup campaign and believe that he will deliver the goods for us," Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said.
Sadie, in talking to Eyewitness News, said it was "one of the most difficult decisions" he had to make when the call came from the Cheetahs.
"The second year in a row that I had to make a big decision in my life," he said in reference to his departure from the Stormers to the Bulls last year and now heading on to the Cheetahs.
And asked why he was leaving the Bulls, Sadie was full of praise for the Pretoria franchise, telling EWN: "The Bulls are an unbelievable set-up, very professional and one of the best set-ups in the world."
However, he repeated an earlier statement that he wanted more game time and to play an expansive game.
"I want to go play, I want to start, I want to have game time," he said.
However, he admitted that the competition for starting places in Bloemfontein would be fierce.
"Obviously the Cheetahs didn't promise me anything," he said, when asked about the presence of Ebersohn and Strauss.
"It is going to be about form and I am just looking forward to go play some rugby... get the ball in my hand.
"I love running rugby and that is one of the big things I found attractive about the Cheetahs. I am more of a running type of player and I want the ball in my hand."
He said he was determined to remain positive during the remainder of his stay in Pretoria.
"For now it is the Currie Cup at the Bulls, I want to have a big season here and end off on a good note.
"Next year I will have to play really well to make that No.13 jersey mine.
"It is not going to be easy - they already have Robert [Ebersohn] and Andries Strauss there, so I will have a lot of competition.
"Hopefully I can do that... that is one of my main goals, to get a regular starting spot."
He also has bigger goals than just the Cheetahs, admitting: "Hopefully I can wear the Green and Gold [Springbok jersey] also in the near future."
By Jan de Koning