12 May 2010

Bulls decision to rest players draws flack

7:07 am on 12 May 2010

The decision by South African rugby side the Bulls to field a weakened side for their final round robin Super 14 match has some fans crying foul.

Bulls captain Victor Matfield has confirmed a number of star players will be rested for their final round robin match this weekend against fellow South African side the Stormers.

The Bulls are top of the Super 14 and have already secured a home-semi final.

A win by the second placed Stormers over the depleted Bulls will ensure they host the other semi-final, and deny the Warratahs, Brumbies, Hurricanes and Crusaders a possible home game.

South African rugby writer Dan Retief says what the Bulls are doing is logical given the team's placing, as a number of players have minor injuries, and resting key players will mean they are fit and ready for the playoffs.

Canterbury Rugby Supporters Club president Dick Tayler says while it's understandable to rest players, the decision could also make it difficult for other teams.

Sydney Morning Herald rugby writer Peter Fitzsimons says it used to be a point of honour to field the best team at all times, and describes the Bulls' move as "un-rugby".

The TAB on Tuesday suspended all but one line of betting for the Bulls-Stormers match and says it will open other betting options when the Bulls team is known.