By Brenden Nel
It may be the classic home derby when the Vodacom Bulls host the Cell C Sharks this afternoon, but for the Bulls it is an ideal opportunity to seal a first phase of this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby tournament on a very strong note.
While the Sharks also have two wins from three, the prospect of going into next week’s bye with three wins out of four is a mouth-watering option that will play a massive role in the ongoing revival in the team’s fortunes.
Coach Pote Human knows how difficult the Sharks are as oppositions, but his mantra of taking every point on offer has served the team well, and with captain Handre Pollard on song with the boot, the Bulls will be looking to use the momentum they picked up in the win over the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.
Human though has refuted the idea that they are playing “old Blue Bulls rugby”, which in some parts of the country has become code for “boring rugby” – this team is anything but that and have an attacking mindset.
“Against the Stormers, we scored four tries and on Saturday we scored two against the Lions, so if people are thinking we are playing ‘old Blue Bulls rugby’ where we just kick and defend, it is certainly not true,” he smiled.
“We step onto the field with an attacking mindset and that is how we want to play the game, which is also the only way we will get people back at Loftus.”
The Sharks will pose a tough challenge – witnessed by the pre-season 7-all draw between the two sides in Ballito and with the Du Preez brothers, Akker van der Merwe, the in form Springbok midfield of Lukhanyo Am and Andre Esterhuizen they will have more than enough firepower.
But the Bulls counter of Schalk Brits, a new look loose trio based on power and pace, and a backline that is itching to score tries will give them an edge.
Either way it is set to be an enthralling South African derby. And a game that will give the Loftus faithful more than enough to cheer for.