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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Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
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Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
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Sun, 17 December 2017
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Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26