Bulls gearing up for a massive Sharks onslaught

rugby28 May 2024 06:21| © SuperSport
By:Brenden Nel
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Johan Grobbelaar © Gallo Images

The Hollywoodbets Sharks victory in the EPCR Challenge Cup may have made them tougher opposition for the Vodacom Bulls this weekend in their final Vodacom United Rugby Championship match, but in reality, the Bulls are even more hungry for victory on their trip to Durban.

The Bulls are currently sitting second on the log and while the Sharks lowly 13th spot on the log may not normally pose problems, their recent run of form that led them to the EPCR Challenge Cup title this past Friday makes them very dangerous opposition indeed.

The Bulls need to win to secure a top two finish, although even a loss would make it unlikely they would finish outside the top four. But a win, coupled with a Munster loss to Ulster later in the evening would give the Bulls top spot on the log, and that is something they are relishing if it comes to pass.

However, they would need to do their bit in that equation and that means getting past the Sharks to begin with and then hope for a performance that would get them a bonus point and catapult them to the top.

While the Sharks win has definitely spiced up the contest, the Bulls are hardly overawed by the prospect of going to Durban, and will believe in their own abilities to overcome a very tough Sharks side, if they choose to field their star players.

Bulls hooker Johan Grobbelaar, who has been at the forefront of that success and has underlined his own status as a rising star in the team, believes that while it is a big job to win against any Sharks team in Durban, it isn’t impossible.

“If you look at our position on the log at the moment it’s not too bad but we’ve still got a big job to do in Durban. It’s going to be an important one for us, to maybe go first or stay second on the log.

“We’ve got to focus on ourselves and play the best rugby that we can, regardless what team they put out against us. Obviously they didn’t play their best rugby at the start of the season, but they’re playing their best rugby at the end.

“If you want to win the trophy you have to win games like this; if you want to win a semifinal or final you’re going to have to win in SA, even if it’s away.”

Grobbelaar said that the Bulls were hoping to face the Sharks best team, especially as it would serve as good preparation for the other challenges that will come their way in the playoffs.

“If they send their best team then we can measure ourselves against the best. We’ve seen in the past that when you go into playoff games and you have a very easy game of running away with the scoreboard, then teams tend to get a bit comfortable,” Grobbelaar added.

“We definitely don’t want an easy game, we want to get tested. All respect to the Sharks, people always talk about an A team and B team but whoever they send out will be very strong in Durban.

“This is actually a difficult time to face them, they’re starting to play their best rugby now. I don’t think they’re going to go away or are satisfied with their season yet, even though they’ve won a trophy.

“They’re going to want to finish strong; it’s a home game for them and they aren’t backing off one bit and we’re up for a big challenge.”

And that will set the scene for an epic clash on Saturday.