‘BULL WILL CHARGE IN’

Oosthuizen is ex­pect­ing a ‘noth­ing to lose’ ap­proach from Pre­to­ria-side

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MIKE GREENAWAY

SHARKS and Spring­bok prop Coe­nie Oosthuizen reck­ons the Bulls are sav­ing their best for last in Su­per Rugby, and they are go­ing to hit Kings Park with a big bang on Fri­day night.

“I think we have all seen how a num­ber of Bulls play­ers have hit form ei­ther for the SA ‘A’ team or the Spring­boks, and be­ing proud play­ers they are not com­ing to Kings Park to go through the mo­tions hav­ing suf­fered so much Su­per Rugby pain. They are com­ing to Dur­ban to prove a point, but we will be ready for them.

“We know what frame of mind they will be in and we have the added goal of play­ing for log points to get up into a good po­si­tion (to avoid play­ing a quar­ter-fi­nal in New Zealand).”

Oosthuizen, who had a bril­liant se­ries of cameos off the bench against the French, said the stut­ter­ing Bulls of March and April would be a dif­fer­ent propo­si­tion now.

“We know right now they are not the same team, And they are not an ac­cu­rate re­flec­tion of where they should be on the log,” Oosthuizen said.

“A lot has changed at Lof­tus in re­cent weeks and with so many of their play­ers hit­ting form on the in­ter­na­tional stage in June with SA ‘A ‘and the Boks, they are com­ing to Dur­ban to give us a smack. They want to fin­ish Su­per Rugby with a bang, and they do not care about the Su­per log – they are out of the reck­on­ing but that makes them all the more dan­ger­ous be­cause they can just play for the heck of it. “They don’t give a damn.” Oosthuizen said that the Sharks had proven what they could do with a strong win­ning per­for­mance against the Storm­ers in the fi­nal match be­fore the June in­ter­na­tional Test win­dow last month.

“South African der­bies bring out the best in the teams be­cause the play­ers know each other so well and how best to get un­der the skin of each other,” the loose­head prop said.

“It is good mates try­ing to nig­gle each other be­cause we know each other so well, and we know what but­tons to press to un­set­tle each other.”

Oosthuizen said that like be­ing part of the Boks, re­turn­ing to the Sharks was like the re­union of a broth­er­hood.

“We play for each other, as you saw against the Storm­ers, and we love at­tack­ing rugby, and we will con­tinue to chase the bonus point while the Bulls have their rea­sons to fin­ish­ing with a flour­ish,” Oosthuien said.

“So, I have no rea­son not to think this is go­ing to be a fine Fri­day night spec­ta­cle for South African rugby.”

Mean­while, Sharks lock Ruan Botha has been sus­pended for three matches fol­low­ing a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing after he con­tra­vened Law 10.4 (h) in the match be­tween South Africa ‘A’ and the French Bar­bar­ians at Or­lando Sta­dium in Soweto last Fri­day.

Botha was red carded for the in­ci­dent in the 39th minute, in which he “charged into a ruck dan­ger­ously, lead­ing with the arm and shoul­der mak­ing con­tact with the op­po­nent’s face.”

Ju­di­cial Of­fi­cer, Mike Ham­lin of Eng­land, ruled the trans­gres­sion to be in the midrange of se­ri­ous­ness. How­ever, be­cause of Botha’s good dis­ci­plinary record and other mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors, the sanc­tion will only be three weeks.

PIC­TURE: BACK­PAGE P

HAPPY TO BE BACK: Coe­nie Oosthuizen of the Sharks has re­it­er­ated that the coastal team will con­tinue to play a run­ning brand of rugby this week­end against the Bulls at Kings Park.

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