Tahs banking on their own Bull

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:34
Large jacques potgieter waratahs

The Waratahs will have a not so secret weapon when they host the Bulls in a Super Rugby crunch match in Sydney on Saturday.

The Waratahs will have a not so secret weapon when they host the Bulls in a Super Rugby crunch match in Sydney on Saturday.

He comes in the form of former Bulls loose forward Jacques Potgieter, the three-Test Springbok who has brought a very rugged edge to the Sydney outfit.

Tahs captain Dave Dennis made no secret of the fact that he is hoping for a big performance from the man who made 22 appearances for the Bulls in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Potgieter is certainly champing at the bit to get at his former teammates and Dennis is confident the niggle directed at the South African won't bother him.

"As long as he stays on the field and doesn't see a coloured card, I don't mind what he does," the Waratahs skipper told the Australian Associated Press.

The real advantage is that Potgieter knot only knows the Bulls' systems, he will also understand every call they make.

"Yeah, I am sure there will be a lot of Afrikaans flying around the scrum and at the line-out and at the ruck, so it should be interesting," Dennis added.

"He said he's pretty keen for it and he's a good team man, Jacques.

"He enjoyed his time there and has some good mates there, but he's made it quite clear during the week that his priorities are with us and he'll be doing everything he can to try and get stuck into his old teammates.

"It's going to be nice and physical, we spoke about that.

"They always are, the Bulls, and I am sure Jacques will want to lead the way there against his old mates."

The Waratahs have also pledged to run with the Bulls, come what may on Saturday.

The Tahs' daring ball-in-hand-style has only yielded four wins from seven outings in 2014, leaving the early-season title favourites clinging to the top six.

A loss to the Bulls would allow the South Africans to leapfrog the Waratahs on the ladder and leave Michael Cheika's side precariously placed at the halfway point of the competition.

"Last week we felt that was a big game [against the Western Force] in the context of the conference and we didn't get the result," Dennis told AAP.

"We came out of it and thought we're still there or thereabouts if we get the win this weekend, so the pressure's moved to this game."

But refusing to retreat, Dennis insists the Waratahs will live and die by their refreshing style and won't be drawn into a dour struggle with the heavyweight Bulls.

"As a group, we've got a strong belief in what we're doing and we feel if we play our style as well as we can, we'll put a lot of teams under pressure and win more games than we'll lose," he said.

"That will be the case again tomorrow night. If we can put them under pressure, play our style, run them round a bit, we'll get a good result hopefully."

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Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
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Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
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