Bulls out to set record straight
CURRIE CUP: SEMIFINAL BERTH UP FOR GRABS AT LOFTUS
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.
RALLYING CALL. Blue Bulls captain Burger Odendaal has called on his troops to get the job done against the Pumas tonight.