The euphoria following an outstanding win over the Sharks has passed and the Vodacom Blue Bulls are braced for a repeat performance against Griquas on Saturday.
Bulls assistant coach Mike Bayly is convinced that the win has not left the side complacent and stressed that they were well aware of the importance of bagging five points in Kimberly.
“The guys have refocussed and are really up for Friday’s match,” Bayly told Keo.co.za. “We realise that we played well against the Sharks and the win gave us lots of momentum going into the last two games.”
He attributed the emphatic win to the form of the returning Springboks, saying that their displays had given the Bulls the impetus they needed to trounce the hapless Sharks.
But he continued his pragmatic approach, saying that despite securing the bonus-point, they remained in fourth position, only four points ahead of the Lions.
“It just takes one slip up now and we could blow our chance of making the play-offs. That how close it is. So the team knows they will have to be at their very best against Griquas.”
The Kimberley-based side, despite being out of contention for a play-off berth, will provide a stern test for the Bulls. Bayly praised their hosts, and simultaneously sounded a warning to his side.
“They have beaten the Lions and the Sharks at home this season and showed their resilience against the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.
“They are a really good, young and well drilled team all round,” he said.
“They have a solid pack and their eighthman [Frans Viljoen] is a quality player. In the back division they have a good kicking flyhalf in Conrad Barnard, their inside backs are really quick and if you give their back three ball in broken play they can devastate any defence,”.
The Pretoria-based side have a chance of securing a home semi-final but that is largely dependent on other results favouring them. They could find themselves in second postion at the end of the round, if the Cheetahs beat the Sharks and the Lions beat Vodacom Western Province.
Conversely, a loss to Griquas and a bonus point win for the Lions win would see them drop out of the play-off placing and left with the daunting task of beating the
Cheetahs at Loftus in the final round.
By Ryan Vrede