The pressure of the impending Super 14 season is starting to tell at Loftus Versfeld as the Bulls put the final touches to their preparations for the highly anticipated opening match against the Stormers in Cape Town next week.
The Bulls have developed into one of the most powerful teams in Super rugby primarily due to their ruthless and abrasive forwards.
But the Bulls, last week, saw fit to re-enforce their scrum work and roped in the experience and knowledge of former Springbok and Bulls prop Marius Hurter.
Hurter conducted a few scrumming sessions with the Bulls pack which will be under pressure this season without the talents of their former leader Victor Matfield in the second row and hooker Gary Botha.
As it stands, Hurter will not conduct any more sessions with the Bulls as he is actually contracted to the Lions – although not for their Super 14 campaign. (WTF???)
“He was here last week just helping us with the scrums. His input was really valuable as he is one of those experienced players who has played at the highest level,” said Bulls forwards coach Pote Human.
Hurter’s presence at Loftus may have only been for a few sessions but Human conceded that every bit of assistance for the Bulls would be valuable as every game they play in the Super 14 will feel like a final.
Human believes that all the teams in the competition will target the Bulls and that their first big test will be to overcome the Stormers in their own backyard next weekend.
“The Stormers are always difficult to beat at Newlands. With Rassie Erasmus there, they will want to be physical and they have big players to play that type of game,” said Human.
“I believe we will be ready and it is going to be a great battle up front. We know that all of the teams will be coming for the Bulls and every match we play is going to be like a final. Our first final is next week.”
Human expressed his satisfaction with how the traditionally one dimensional Bulls forwards have quickly adapted to the new laws and that there is a significant improvement in their play since their first warm-up match against Boland two weeks ago.
“I was not that happy after the Boland game but the guys really put on good show against the Lions in Windhoek last week.
“We are coping but the ball is staying in play longer and we will see next week how far we have come.
“Our big forwards will have to adapt and get around the park quicker.
“There is a definite upward curve in our play. Everybody is looking forward to it. I believe that we will surprise a lot of teams,” said Human.
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