Marais: Bulls will be ready for Sharks

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 20:48
Large bulls v kings2 800

REACTION: Bulls coach Nollis Marais is adamant his team will be able to raise their game for their Currie Cup crunch match with the Sharks.

Speaking to reporters after the Bulls made heavy weather of beating the Eastern Province Kings 49-35 in a high scoring Currie Cup encounter at Loftus Versfeld last Friday, the coach admitted his team needs to get back to the basics and improve on their all-round game if they are to challenge for top honours.

Marais said that he was happy to come away with five points from Loftus last week.

"We are not accurate enough and we are putting ourselves under pressure," Marais said.

"We can play well but we must be more accurate."

The Bulls face the Sharks at Kings Park Stadium in Durban this coming Saturday.

Marais said his team will need to pull together and put in a big performance if they are to be on the right end of the result against the 2013 Currie Cup champions.

"We are still in with a fighting chance at the moment," the Bulls' mentor said.

"We gave ourselves a fighting chance with five points at home but I think it's easier to motivate players when they play big unions but we shouldn't be like that.

"If a team deserves 80 points you must give them 80 points, so hopefully we have a big performance next week," Marais added.

Marais was full of praise for flyhalf Tian Schoeman and flank Ruan Steenkamp for their consistent good form in recent Currie Cup games for the Bulls.

"I think Schoeman is kicking very well at the moment.

"I think in three games he has missed just one kick - that is excellent.  

"I'm also very proud of Ruan Steenkamp.

"He has played six games now and three in a row and he was brilliant each and every game.

"He didn't play Super Rugby and he was my captain in 2013. It's good that he comes through as well, so there were positive points if you look at how he played and Tian's work at the moment."

Captain Arno Botha added that the Bulls are creating many attacking opportunities.

However, they need to protect the ball and ensure that they do not concede possession cheaply.

"We are scoring tries but we are giving away the ball too much," Botha said.

"I think a perfect performance would be if we could keep the ball a bit more and not make so many mistakes."

The Bulls currently find themselves in a play-off position, as they sit in third place on the Currie Cup table - with 10 points from three games.

This includes two bonus point victories - against Western Province and the Eastern Province Kings - and a defeat against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

By Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
RESULT SCORE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 37 | 17
Bath v Harlequins 22 | 12
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1