Ismaiel blow for embattled Bulls

Mon, 08 May 2017 20:16

INJURY UPDATE: The embattled Bulls have suffered an injury setback, ahead of facing another of New Zealand's in-form teams, the Highlanders.

The Bulls lost the services of Travis Ismaiel for between six to eight weeks, after the wing sustained a suspected grade three MCL tear in his knee in the record 24-62 loss to the Crusaders at the weekend.

Ismaiel will go for scans for confirmation.

Ismaiel joins a long-term injury list that includes Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard, Dries Swanepoel and Roelof Smit - all making steady progress - while John-Roy Jenkinson has begun selected practice sessions with the team.

Arno Botha, John Jackson and Ruan Steenkamp have been cleared to play and will be available for selection this weekend.

The three-time former champions, the Bulls, face a bleak future with no chance of making the play-offs after six losses in nine outings.

A small crowd in the 50,000-seat Loftus Versfeld stadium illustrated the disillusionment of Bulls' supporters with a team that has battled since Nollis Marais took over last season.

Success came all too easy for seven-time former champions Crusaders as they made it 10 wins in a row since the season began three months ago.

It was their second biggest win this year after a 50-3 rout of the Japanese Sunwolves and they have scored 167 points in their last three games, all against South African sides.

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