Bulls captain Victor Matfield has admitted that his team faces a ‘tall order’ in their Super 14 Final encounter with the Chiefs in Pretoria on Saturday.
But he also pointed out that his side is no-longer the one-dimensional outfit that so many critics like to label them as.
In fact, the Bulls have proved themselves to be worthy of a place in Super Rugby’s grand finale.
Speaking about his team’s impressive come-from-behind 36-23 demolition of the Crusaders in the semifinal at the weekend, Matfield pointed out that his team ‘s now scoring some “awesome” tries.
The Bulls, trailing 7-20 after the first half-an-hour, produced a 20-point blitz in eight minutes to leave the visitors floundering at the half-time break. In the second half the Bulls simply shut out the Crusaders to seal the win.
And Crusaders captain Richie McCaw admitted that his team was simply “not good enough” to live with the Bulls at present.
Rugby 365 reports that Matfield was quick to praise the 50,000 Loftus spectators – saying that with their support they would always have come back.
“It will be good to see them next week again,” Matfield said of the crowd, adding: “It is awesome to play at Loftus.”
He admitted that it is “going to be tough” in the Final against New Zealand’s form team.
“The Chiefs are really playing well at the moment, so it is going to be very tough,” Matfield said.
But he also pointed out that the Bulls have become a more rounded team and can play both a sound kicking game and employ equally effective counter-attacking tactics.
“Everyone says we’re just a kick-and-hope team, but in those 10 minutes before half-time [against the Crusaders] the guys showed just how dangerous we can be from broken play,” Matfield said, adding: “We scored some awesome tries.”
Matfield said his team was “really happy” about the victory against the Crusaders and looking forward to the Final.
Coach Frans Ludeke also praised his team for their comeback after trailing 7-20.
“It was an awesome effort from the team,” the Bulls coach said.
He also reserves special praise for his new-look midfield of Jaco Pretorius and Marius Delport, after star Springbok Wynand Olivier was forced to withdraw through injury and fellow midfielder JP Nel was slapped with a four-week ban.
“The guys that came in really pulled their weight,” Ludeke said.
“Jaco Pretorius, a former SA Sevens player, had an awesome game and Marius Delport, the effort he put in on defence and in broken play was a massive effort.”Tweet