Hattingh doubtful for 50th appearance in Super Rugby game



Vodacom Bulls lock Grant Hattingh will have to wait until this morning to know whether he will play his 50th game in Vodacom Super Rugby against the Melbourne Rebels at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Hattingh hurt his neck in training yesterday and now waits for the doctor to clear him on Thursday before he can run out for his half century in the competition. Hattingh started his Super Rugby career at the Emirates Lions and played nine times for them in the competition.

Coach Nollis Marais was set to name an unchanged side from the one that went down to the DHL Stormers but his hand was forced by two injuries in training before the team was named.
Hattingh’s neck injury may not turn out to be serious, but the other loss was Springbok midfielder Jesse Kriel, who was concussed in a move on the field.

“Grant had a scan and we will make a decision tomorrow morning,” Marais explained.
“I will leave that up to the doctor, but there is nothing clinically wrong – he went for an MR and physical and there are no problems, but I want the doctor to do a follow up. He will be replaced by Marvin Orie or Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg if he needs to rest.”

Kriel however, was concussed when he ended up in a bad position on the training field and the Bulls are simply being cautious.
“Jesse Kriel got injured now, he has concussion. He got his head on the wrong side (of a collision) and I will not risk Jesse this weekend. Unfortunately it seems injuries don’t keep away from Loftus. About 20 minutes ago in our training session he put his head on the wrong side of a normal attack/defence session. I won’t take a chance with his health,” Marais added.

“That means Jan Serfontein will move to 13 and Burger Odendaal will move into the 12 position. Dries Swanepoel will be on the bench.”
The upshot of all of this is that Serfontein and Odendaal will be paired in a combination that will be interesting to watch, while Kriel’s health will not be put in danger. Dries Swanepoel, highly rated and finally over all of his injury worries, will be making his debut from the bench for the Bulls.

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