The Vodacom Blue Bulls’ Absa Currie Cup bye this weekend could not have come at a better time.
And coach Pote Human has given his players the week off to recharge their batteries. The Bulls take on Vodacom Western Province at Newlands in their next match in a fortnight.
It is a match the Bulls simply have to win if they hope to host one of the play-offs. And it will be a grudge match after Luke Watson’s outfit beat the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld (15-10) in the first round.
The Bulls have yet to fire on all cylinders during this campaign, but will need to be at their very best if they are to get an unlikely home semi-final. A place in the top four though is not a forgone conclusion, especially with the Lions recent purple patch.
“I think the rest will do us good,” Human said. “It’s not been an easy road for us and now we have to do it the hard way. But I firmly believe we have the talent at our disposal and we can still make our mark on the competition.”
The Bulls have featured in the last four finals (the last three all at Loftus) and won three of those. With Springbok call-ups particularly harsh on the Bulls, they have struggled to find the form that has made them the most feared team in the land since 2002.
Consistency has been the problem as they have shown glimpses of raw Blue Bulls power rugby in patches this year. “We have not ever really dominated this season. But hopefully the rest will do us wonders because we have a tough run to the finals.”
Apart from WP away in their next match, they also face the Sharks in Durban, Griquas in Kimberley and a final round-robin fixture against the Cheetahs in Pretoria. “We are aiming to win all of our remaining games and then we will see where that takes us. I think it is going to be a very close fight for places in the top four.”
Blue Bulls remaining fixtures:
Friday Sept 1 v Western Province (Newlands)
Friday Sept 8 v Pumas (Loftus Versfeld)
Saturday Sept 16 v Sharks (Absa Stadium)
Saturday Sept 23 v Griquas (Absa Park)
Saturday Sept 30 v Cheetahs (Loftus Versfeld)
By Andrew Hollely