Vodacom Blue Bulls captain Frikkie Welsh is convinced the youngsters from the Cape will prove difficult to beat at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
When the two sides last met at Newlands in the Vodacom Super 14, the Bulls thrashed the hosts by a massive margin. Welsh prefers to remain ignorant of this result, saying both teams had changed dramatically in personnel for this year’s ABSA Currie Cup.
“WP have been playing some impressive rugby of late, and we are going to have to be at the top of our game to beat them,” Welsh told keo.co.za. “Their strength is in the amount of young players they have coming through and performing at this level.”
Welsh speaks of the likes of Gio Aplon, Robbie Diack and Justin Melck who all had outstanding games against the Sharks last Saturday. Luke Watson and Bolla Conradie may not be ancient, but Welsh also feels that these two experienced heads hold the key for Province.
“Watson and Conradie are class performers and we will have to watch them very carefully,” he said.
Coming off a convincing 39-24 victory over the Lions at Ellis Park, the Bulls will be favourites to take the spoils at home. On the other hand, WP will feel that after their previous effort against the Sharks, they are due a big win.
“We didn’t start well against the Valke, it should never have been that close,” said Welsh. “In the Lions game, we were still making too many mistakes. We will not be taking this next game lightly.”
Several teams have hiccuped in the early stages of the ABSA Currie Cup, but the warm-ups are now over and the next round should give us a clearer idea of where everybody stands. Welsh has been pleased with the progress of his charges in the competition.
“We’ve suffered a setback of losing 20 players to either injury or Springbok call-ups, so it hasn’t been easy. I’m proud of the way our youngsters have come through. It says a lot for the depth of Blue Bulls rugby.”
By Jon Cardinelli