Marais: NZ teams can come

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 08:56

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: Bulls coach Nollis Marais has laid down a challenge to his New Zealand opponents when they make the trek to Loftus Versfeld in Round 11 of the competition.

Marais made the remark with the premise that it is difficult to play at the Pretoria stadium after his side's narrow 20-14 over the Cheetahs.

"New Zealand teams can come here because Loftus is a different venue. I know they [New Zealand teams] are outstanding teams but the players believe they can do anything. They believe in each other and that is important to me," Marais said.

While Marais believes he has world class backline players, they have not been able to showcase what they are capable of because their pack of forwards are yet to pitch up.

"I don't think our forwards are pitching up. We are not getting good ball from them and are not allowing our back to attack. We are better with ball-in-hand, we are dangerous and have the players to do that," he added.

The Bulls will now enjoy a bye week before hosting the Crusaders on May 6.

"We need to put up an 80-minute performance but regardless of not doing that [against the Cheetahs], they stuck to their guns and fought to the end. We didn't play well in the first half but our second half was much better with ball-in-hand. 

"Luckily we pulled it off at the end as the bench pulled the game through for us. I think this break has come at a good time for us because we have a lot of players returning from injury," he stated.

Marais has identified a key area of their game that needs to simply requires self-belief in order to execute it properly.

"We to have trust and belief in ourselves that we can run the ball and not kick it away each time we feel a little bit of pressure. We are good when we carry the ball and are much better when we do that. The players just need to trust in it," Marais said.

@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Tue, 27 June 2017
Hurricanes v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Fri, 30 June 2017
Sharks v Bulls 17h00 Kings Park, Durban
Sat, 01 July 2017
Jaguares v Kings 23h05 Buenos Aires
New Zealand v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Stormers 13h05 Bloemfontein
Lions v Sunwolves 15h15 Ellis Park Stadium
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