rugby365.com columnist Grant Ball believes that Johann Sadie and JJ Engelbrecht's moves to the Bulls were more about financial reasons than playing opportunities.
It came down to an issue of budgetary constraints for WP, as the Bulls' is far greater than Province's. The Bulls also have money freed up with not having to pay Fourie du Preez from next year due to his move to Suntory in Japan. With Francois Hougaard moving to scrumhalf, they needed outside backs, and hence the procurement of Sadie and Engelbrecht.
WP, by contrast, have less money than the Bulls, and they weren't willing to compromise themselves and pay a youngster such as Sadie that much cash. Just recently they've had to let centre Paul Bosch go due to financial constraints. They also have to pay big names such Jean de Villiers, Juan de Jongh, Gio Aplon, Bryan Habana, and Jaque Fourie in their outside backs (the former trio have confirmed they'll be staying next year while the latter pair are still negotiating).
In Engelbrecht's case, WP couldn't justify matching the Bulls' offer, and then Danie Poolman (who is of a similar quality to Engelbrecht) would be on a much smaller salary. Paying Sadie and Engelbrecht massive salaries would've set a dangerous precedent.
It was also a matter of timing – if the Stormers didn't have those Boks on their books, they could've been able to match the Bulls' offer for Sadie. For him, a Cape local born in Malmesbury, who went to Paarl Gim and Stellenbosch University, it would have been a tough decision. However, money talks.
Sadie said: 'I have enjoyed my time with the Stormers immensely. I am a loyal person, so it was a difficult decision, but I am excited about the opportunities that I will be afforded at the Bulls.'
Sadie said it was a question of playing opportunities, but financially it would've been difficult to refuse. How can you blame him for taking the lucrative offer? He's a young professional, and he has to make as good a living as possible. Getting regular game-time in his preferred position of No 13 and being paid more for it was the logical choice.
Aside from the financial reasons for Sadie's exit, it is fair to say that all is not rosy in the Stormers' camp and how the majority of players view some members of the senior management and coaching staff. Some of the dictatorial management styles have not had the best influence on players, but the large majority have stayed. That comes down to being paid well enough.
One complaint that young players cannot level at the union is the opportunities they've been granted this Super Rugby campaign. Stephen Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Rynhardt Elstadt, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Sadie and Poolman are just some of the youngsters given game-time this season.
Whether Sadie's move to Pretoria is the best for him personally from a rugby aspect will only be told in future. But from a professional and financial perspective, it was the correct one.
WP will rue seeing the talented Baby Bok play in the Bulls' blue and not the Stormers' blue, but financially it wasn't viable to retain him.
Grant Ball also writes for RugbyXV
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