Marais: We need to make the step up

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 16:59

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais believes that his team's Currie Cup Premier Division title aspirations will be put to the test when they face the Golden Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

The Pretoria-based outfit find themselves in fourth place on the table with 11 points from four games, which includes two wins and two defeats.

However, there are only four points separating them from sixth-placed Western Province, who have a game in hand over the Bulls, while the Griquas, who currently find themselves sitting in fifth position on the table with nine points, also played one less game then the Bulls.

This situation means that the clash against the Lions on Friday is a make or break one for the Bulls if they are to challenge for a place in the Currie Cup Premier Division semifinals at the end of the season. 

"Unfortunately, we've lost two away games," said Marais.

"We made errors but the plan for Loftus is very important and it's a very important week for us, otherwise we are going to go down to the last three games on permutations and hoping someone else beats someone else. It's still in our own hands but Friday night is going to be a big test for us and a big character test. 

"I think we are on the right track but we need to prove it on Friday. 

"We are in a situation at the moment where we need to prove that we belong in the semifinals and we have to win, especially at Loftus. 

"The Lions have beaten us here twice now at Loftus and I know it's nothing new for them but we need to make a huge step-up on Friday if we want to contest in the semifinals," explained Marais.

Marais further added that the Lions come into this game with plenty of confidence having recorded a 60-12 bonus-point victory against the Boland Cavaliers last week.

"The Lions are a good side. They bounced back from losing to Griquas and giving Boland 60 points, so if you give the Lions opportunities they will score," said Marais.

By Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 25 August 2017
Pumas v Blue Bulls 17h00 Nelspruit
Sat, 26 August 2017
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Dunedin
Western Province v Sharks 13h00 Newlands
Free State Cheetahs v Golden Lions 15h15 Bloemfontein
Argentina v South Africa 17h30 Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 5 4 0 1 21
Sharks 5 4 0 1 20
Western Province 5 3 0 2 16
Blue Bulls 5 2 0 3 14
Griquas 6 2 0 4 14
Pumas 5 2 0 3 10
Golden Lions 5 1 0 4 9