Bulls look to end their wretched sea­son with a bang

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - VATA NGOBENI

THERE can be no mea­sur­ing the depths that the Bulls have sunk to this sea­son but coach Nol­lis Marais has one more wish ahead of their last Su­per Rugby out­ing against the Storm­ers on Satur­day. Beat the Storm­ers! A vic­tory against the old foe won’t change how woe­ful the Bulls have been this sea­son but it will go a long way in keep­ing the be­lief alive that they can re­cover from their cur­rent slump con­sid­er­ing that they will have a new voice in new ex­ec­u­tive of rugby John Mitchell next week.

How­ever, out­go­ing coach Marais doesn’t want to be re­mem­bered for all that has gone wrong, par­tic­u­larly this year un­der his ten­ure, and will be des­per­ate to erase the mem­ory of their 31-30 loss against the South­ern Kings on Satur­day at home with a sea­son end­ing win against a side that has dom­i­nated their con­fer­ence this sea­son.

While the Bulls have cer­tainly lost their glit­ter in a sea­son where they have been beaten four times in their seven home matches, Marais re­mains the ul­ti­mate op­ti­mist that his team will bring the cur­tain down on one of their worst sea­sons with a win to also usher the new dis­pen­sa­tion un­der Mitchell.

“Ob­vi­ously we know that it is not good enough, it is un­ac­cept­able. It is not that we take a loss and move on to the next game.

“Per­son­ally I take it very hard. It is never what we set out to do at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son, we had big plans and ob­vi­ously it is dis­ap­point­ing for the fans as well. It’s un­ac­cept­able to lose at Lof­tus and we know that there is change com­ing to Lof­tus and we know they are very dis­ap­pointed, they should look to the fu­ture as well,” Marais said in the af­ter­math of their shock de­feat at the hands of the Kings.

With the Storm­ers guar­an­teed a place in the play-offs af­ter top­ping and win­ning their con­fer­ence af­ter putting away the Sun­wolves on Satur­day at New­lands, Marais be­lieves his team have one more op­por­tu­nity to show how good they ac­tu­ally are against a for­mi­da­ble Storm­ers side who will use Satur­day’s derby as a dress re­hearsal for their home play-off match.

“Ob­vi­ously the Storm­ers are a good side, they are in the play-offs al­ready and they should bring a full strength side. We will see on Mon­day what we should do and go from there,” Marais added.

As in­dif­fer­ent as the re­sults have been for the Bulls this sea­son and the hurt of los­ing to the Kings still a sore point, cap­tain Adri­aan Strauss has dubbed Satur­day’s clash against the Storm­ers as the ul­ti­mate and fi­nal act for his team in restor­ing their dig­nity and giv­ing hope to their long suf­fer­ing sup­port­ers.

“It’s a mas­sive game for us. We were re­ally pos­i­tive af­ter the rest and we were very ex­cited ahead of the Sharks game and this week be­fore the Kings and we will be up for it next week as well. The ex­cite­ment will be there and the work rate dur­ing the week will be there and we know what is com­ing, it will be a mas­sive game. It is go­ing to be a big game for us. This (Kings loss) does hurt so we will pick our­selves up on Mon­day,” said Strauss.

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