Planet Rugby

Never nice losing in a Bulls jersey

27th February 2014 06:07

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Flip van der Merwe

Bulls hard man: Flip van der Merwe

Playing for the Bulls is one thing, captaining them is a task that transforms the average milk beard into barbwire-like stubble.

Fortunately for Flip van der Merwe, he has donated his fair share of the red stuff for the Springbok cause and the battle scars he sported in his first press conference at Loftus showed just that.

As Van der Merwe walked into the firing line at his home ground for the first time you could almost hear Valiant Swart sing "Sy dra teveel eye shadow."

The big lock forward had a blue eye to show for each of his team's defeats and was fielding questions from scribes who, quite understandably, were dissecting the team's poor start to the season.

Regular captain Pierre Spies' late withdrawal ahead of their record first loss against the Bloemfontein squad - Spies has been ruled out for up to six months - left the Loftus lads in a tricky situation where a new leader had to be appointed.

And Van der Merwe was their man.

The big lock would later concede that having Victor Matfield at his side is an advantage most new captains could only dream of and, in staying true to traditions set by his predecessors, he took ownership of what transpired on the park the previous weekend.

Asked about his first experience as leader in the only South African team that has tasted Super Rugby success, he said that the fact that he was put in charge of the team made the loss even tougher to swallow.

"It is definitely a lot worse. I think you feel a little bit more responsible, but Ja losing in a Bulls jersey is never nice, it is never acceptable and we will have to rectify that this weekend."

Van der Merwe will partner Matfield in the second row against a resurgent Lions squad this weekend with long lost son Jacques-Louis Potgieter taking over one of the most important positions in the Bulls playing pattern.

Michael Mentz in Pretoria

  • Super Rugby Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
Friday , May 2
Blues vs Reds19:35
Melbourne Rebels vs Sharks19:40
Saturday , May 3
Chiefs vs Lions19:35
Crusaders vs Brumbies16:35
More Super Rugby fixtures
  • Super Rugby Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
Saturday , April 12
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
More Super Rugby results
  • Super Rugby Table
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks831
2Brumbies825
3Chiefs825
4Waratahs824
5Western Force823
6Crusaders822
7Hurricanes821
8Highlanders719
9Bulls919
10Lions916
11Blues816
12Reds816
13Melbourne Rebels816
14Stormers810
15Cheetahs99
Australian Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Brumbies825
2Waratahs824
3Western Force823
4Reds816
5Melbourne Rebels816
New Zealand Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Chiefs825
2Crusaders822
3Hurricanes821
4Blues816
5Highlanders615
South African Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks831
2Bulls919
3Lions916
4Stormers810
5Cheetahs99