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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 25 May 2017
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Ascoli Piceno
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19