Brian O’Driscoll believes the Bulls’ winning of the Super 14 title will not give the Springboks an overwhelming advantage in the Test series.
The Bulls thrashed the Chiefs 61-17 in Saturday’s final at Loftus Versfeld to claim their second Super 14 title. O’Driscoll acknowledged the power of the Bulls and admitted the recent success will be a boon to the Boks, but at the same time remained confident of his own team’s chances.
‘The Bulls will bring confidence into that squad if you look at it like that,’ he said, ‘but you also have to remember that we have a lot of players in our squad who have recently won big tournaments like the Heineken Cup, the Magners League and the English Premiership. We have plenty of winners amongst ourselves.’
Head coach Ian McGeechan and O’Driscoll weren’t too worried about the Lions’ mediocre showing at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace. The Lions trailed the Royal XV 18-3 after 27 minutes, but still managed to win 37-25.
O’Driscoll said that match was important to their development as a unit, and that this Wednesday should see further improvement.
‘It was frustrating to watch from the sidelines. Top players were making uncharacteristic errors. There’s no masterplan about it, we just need to cut those out and get things right.
‘At the same time, winning games is winning games. We weren’t firing on all cylinders last week, but to get through was something. The Royal XV were also very well organised and it was a very tough game first up.’
McGeechan said this Lions side cannot be judged by their first performance and that they are yet to show their true hand.
‘It’s about progressing game by game and building momentum. We didn’t try everything in that first match. Tactically, it would be foolish to do so at this early stage,’ said McGeechan.
‘There was progress on Saturday and we’ll look to add to that this week, and the week thereafter.’
By Jon Cardinelli, in Johannesburg