Bulls satisfied with 'soccer score'
WP put up a proverbial 'cricket score' the last time they played the Blue Bulls. In their return match on Friday, the Bulls will be satisfied with a soccer score.
Western Province put up a proverbial 'cricket score' the last time they played the Blue Bulls. In their return match on Friday, the Bulls will be satisfied with a soccer score.
Despite the threat of a possible promotion-relegation match hovering like a dark cloud, the Bulls truly believe they can still reach the Currie Cup play-offs.
However, that means they have to win their two remaining matches - against WP at Loftus Versfeld on Friday and the table-topping Golden Lions in Johannesburg next week. Then also they need Griquas (who play the Lions and Sharks) and the Free State Cheetahs (up against the Sharks and WP) to stumble at least once.
Coach Pine Pienaar made it clear the Bulls will not worry about the permutations and will focus only on what they can control - which is beating a Province team that scored a demoralising 42-6 win over the men from Pretoria when the two sides clashed at Newlands last month.
He also dismissed the notion that the Bulls will be chasing bonus points in the hope of sneaking into the play-offs.
"If you go for the bonus point,. from the outset, against a defensive system such as that of Western Province you may put yourself under pressure," Pienaar told this website.
"There may be a dropped ball or two and their exciting backs will come into play."
He said bonus points will take care of themselves.
"Our priority this week is to get back on the winning track," Pienaar said, adding: "After that, if there is a chance of a bonus point, obviously go for it.
"At the moment we are in a position where I will take 1-0 against a quality team like WP.
"We know we have to win, it is our last home game. We are up against a team that has played, at times, some outstanding rugby in this Currie Cup competition.
"They humiliated us at Newlands [a month ago]. We realise it will be a tall order on Friday."
The Bulls mentor said there has been no talk of "revenge" in the camp this week.
"Emotions won't get you anywhere.
"You can't afford to start worrying about what-ifs ... we have to win, or we will play a promotion-relegation game.
"Our focus is on our own process. The past two weeks [a 34-30 win over the Cheetahs and 12-13 loss to the Sharks], what we were trying to do started to come together.
"We have to continue dominating [the opposition] and as a team we must improve. We realise it will take our very best effort against WP to get a win."
He said the Bulls remain "focussed" on their own goals and know they have a chance of reaching the play-offs.
By Jan de Koning