Victor Matfield is nervous about the Currie Cup final against the Sharks on Saturday – and he believes it is a good omen.
Currie Cup final time is here!
Morris Gilbert writes in Beeld that the Blue Bulls captain, who will be one of the most experienced players in the match in Durban, expects the hollow feeling on his stomach to get worse as the battle for the most important prize in SA provincial rugby approaches.
But this is normal, the Springbok lock forward says. Any player who is involved in a Currie Cup final should be worried if he does not feel the butterflies.
As long as the nerves are active, the body will produce adrenalin that will provide the extra energy needed to make the difference between winning and losing in the most important match of the season.
“I get gooseflesh just talking about it,” Matfield said here on Tuesday. “It is and remains an incredible privilege to play in a Currie Cup final, no matter how many times you have done it.”
The passion and enthusiasm with which the captain discussed the Bulls’ fourth final in six years were directly linked to the satisfaction that coach Frans Ludeke expressed over his team’s preparations.
The Bulls had a number of players who knew what was needed to win a final, Ludeke said. “They have taken the lead in maintaining a healthy balance. The players are excited but also extremely focussed. We are training with great urgency.”
No Change to Squad
Ludeke is unconcerned about comments that the Bulls may be vulnerable on the tighthead side of the front row.
“All our prop forwards will want to show they don’t stand back to anyone,” he said.
“I have been encouraged by the shift in emphasis among the referees in the past three matches. The onus is now just as much on the tighthead prop as on his direct opponent to keep up the scrum.”
Jonathan Kaplan’s appointment as referee is good news for the Blue Bulls because he applies the scrum laws well.
“We’re also not worried about any other aspect of his interpretations and application of the laws,” Ludeke said.
Controversial decisions won’t decide the winners of the final. The team that play the best rugby will win, he believes.Tweet