Springbok loose forward Pierre Spies has cautioned those who presume the Vodacom Blue Bulls are a one dimensional outfit, and expects his backline to be a huge factor in this weekend’s semifinal.
Although the team from Pretoria are predominately known for their powerful efficiency amongst the forwards, Spies believes that the talent in their backline should not be discounted.
“I can’t really agree with the idea that we are lacking anything in the backs,” he told keo.co.za. “It’s true that we have a different style of play to that of Western Province, but that does not mean we have not been effective this season.
“Every team has their own unique style, and I think that our interplay between the forwards and backs has been particularly good in the last few games.”
The Bulls have scored 64 tries in this year’s Absa Currie Cup, with the backline dominating that statistic. The return of their Springboks has also raised their game significantly, and they are looking a different side to the one that struggled in the middle stages of the competition.
“I haven’t played a lot of Currie Cup rugby, but I am definitely enjoying my time with the Bulls at the moment,” Spies explained. “I fit in well with the strong forward pack, and I also enjoy the opportunities I receive to link with the backs.”
This is not to say that there will be no blood spilt over the usual clash in the forwards, where the home team are heavy favourites. In the loose, Spies stated his eagerness to have a go at the likes of Luke Watson and Robbie Diack this weekend.
“Luke has been a consistent performer this year for Western Province, and it should be a great competition between us. But I don’t think this will be the only area in which the game is won, and it will depend on how the respective players perform as a team on the day.”
Any psychological advantage that WP may have had in their double-victory in the league matches should be countered by the venue of the game and the occasion itself. The WP players and management have commented on this situation throughout the week, supporting the notion of home advantage and a clean slate.
By Jon Cardinelli