Marais thrilled with Strauss, Serfontein returns

Pretoria - The Bulls, down to 14 men, were left with a lot to think about after their 34-21 win over the Sunwolves in Pretoria on Friday. 

It was the first win of the season for coach Nollis Marais and his charges, but they did lose the bonus point late on in the match as the Sunwolves gave a bright display.

It is still nowhere near where the Bulls need to be if they are to seriously challenge for play-off places this season, but it is a step in the right direction.

One major positive was the return of Springboks Jan Serfontein and Adriaan Strauss from injury.

Serfontein, particularly, was impressive as he crashed over for two tries while Strauss got a solid 33 minutes under the belt off the bench.

Marais was pleased to have both of those players back as the Bulls prepare for a tough trip to New Zealand where fixtures against the Blues and Chiefs await.  

"Adriaan is looking young again," Marais laughed. 

"Jan showed how hungry he is. He's been out for a while. He played at 12 and 13 and was great. Sometimes I think we under-estimate just how good he is.

"The return of Jan and Adriaan is good for us. I think that a guy like Adriaan just showed his class, especially with a young pack. He showed his leadership and it's important ... taking control of the team." 

A lot has been made of Serfontein's return, and Marais had some interesting views on what the future might hold for the 23-year-old.

"It's going to bee difficult to keep Jan in South Africa," Marais said.

"The market overseas is so difficult to keep them over here so it's a battle every day.

"Jan Serfontein wants to play for the Bulls and he wants to be here. He is an excellent rugby player and South African rugby should be looking after him."