Bulls out to set record straight


The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT - Ken Bor­land

Deep de­sire to avenge thrash­ing the Pu­mas gave them.

The Blue Bulls will be look­ing for ar­guably their first 100% per­for­mance of the year tonight when they host the Pu­mas at Lof­tus Vers­feld and, with a Cur­rie Cup semi­fi­nal place on the line, they should be able to lift them­selves in an ef­fort to get some­thing out of their wretched year.

Coach John Mitchell has cho­sen an un­changed team and he will be hop­ing that the 64-36 rout of the Free State Chee­tahs last week­end was a sign that things have fi­nally clicked to­gether as he tries to rein­vent Bulls rugby.

“We are slowly but surely get­ting into some sort of rhythm in our play and the con­sis­tency in se­lec­tion is im­por­tant if you want to make it into the play-offs,” Mitchell said. “We are still in with a chance to make it into the fi­nal four and owe it to our­selves and our sup­port­ers out there to give it a full go.”

The mem­o­ries of the 51-15 thrash­ing the Pu­mas dished out to the Blue Bulls in Nel­spruit in Au­gust, as well as the pos­si­bil­ity of a semi­fi­nal place for the Pu­mas if they win, should en­sure there is plenty of in­ten­sity in the game.

The Bulls’ strength has been in some of their daz­zling back­line play, but for that to hap­pen their for­wards have to give them front­foot ball. The forward ex­changes are an ob­vi­ous strength, how­ever, of the Pu­mas side, and the re­turn of Chris Cloete will also en­sure the Bulls have a tough time at the break­down.

But with the Pu­mas suf­fer­ing three in­juries among their pack, it would be noth­ing short of a catas­tro­phe for the Bulls should they lose again.

“They gave us a good hid­ing when we played them ear­lier in the sea­son, but that was the start of the turn­around for us. We are con­fi­dent that we are pro­gress­ing into a com­pet­i­tive squad and that we can put to­gether the per­for­mance needed to stay in the com­pe­ti­tion,” Mitchell said.

“It will be nice if we can have a de­cent crowd to spur us on as well,” Blue Bulls cap­tain Burger Oden­daal said.

Pic­ture: Gallo Im­ages

RAL­LY­ING CALL. Blue Bulls cap­tain Burger Oden­daal has called on his troops to get the job done against the Pu­mas tonight.

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