While the Bulls pride themselves on a virtually impregnable stadium in Fortress Loftus, Sharks flank Warren Britz says the famous stadium holds no fear for the Sharks.
“It’s a great stadium with an awesome history for the Bulls, but lots of the Sharks guys actually enjoy playing there. We get great support for away games and we have a huge fan club in Pretoria so it could be interesting to see how many Sharks fans there are,” Britz told keo.co.za.
“Coming out against the Cats at Ellis Park was incredible to see so many black and white flags. Our travelling support as well as the guys that have moved up from Durban certainly helps in the away games. I’m sure it will be the same on Saturday.”
The Sharks also boast an impressive record in Super Rugby matches at Loftus – they have not lost since 1998 and the ground is also the venue of that famous first-ever Natal Currie Cup win back in 1990.
Former Bulls lock and current Sharks hard-man Johan Ackerman also has a great affiliation for the famous stadium. “Loftus brings so many good memories. I was made a Springbok back in 1996 while playing for the Bulls and had my Bok debut against Fiji there. The crowd is so knowledgable and passionate it is a real honour to play there.”
Ackerman, a few weeks short of his 36th birthday, has been tipped in some quarters for a Springbok comeback, but the prospect of a return to the green and gold is far from the big man’s mind. “I just want to do my part on the field on Saturday. It’s all about the team performing,” said Ackerman, who as a child actually supported Western Province, and currently has a house in Pretoria.
“On Saturday it’s going to come down to who wants it the most. One of two teams is going to be bitterly disappointed. There is so much to play for.”
By Andrew Hollely