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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Bulls aren't safe at all - Spies

Vodacom Bulls captain Pierre Spies believes the Vodacom Bulls are nowhere near the safety zone that others see them in, in this year’s South African conference in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.

For that reason they still need to ensure they are focused enough to take five points from Saturday’s game against the Highlanders to press home their advantage.

Spies laughed about how strange the weekend had been.

The Bulls were off “enjoying the break” while the Stormers and Sharks floundered, and the Cheetahs lost at home to put the Pretoria side in a commanding position in the league, especially as there are only six weeks of competition left.

But the Bulls captain, who will mark a century of games this weekend for the franchise, believes his team cannot let up now.

“Every season plays out differently. There is still a lot to play for this season. There are six games left and we are a long way from the finish. We run our own race and we’re coming off a bye. We have to get back on the horse this week,” Spies told reporters at the team announcement.

“We have all seen it in the competition. Any team is capable of winning on any day. The Highlanders are an experienced team. They have got quality players all around the park. They have All Blacks throughout that team and they will be wanting to bounce back from the Kings game. We saw what they are capable of and they can be a very capable team if you let them.”

Coach Frans Ludeke agreed, but underlined the fact the Bulls know all too well -- forget the opposition, execute your game plan well and the rest will follow.

“It’s about us. It is vital for us. We have standards and we feel that momentum,” Ludeke said about moving forward from the off-weekend.

“It’s important that we keep our momentum going and maintain our standard of playing. We need to execute on the weekend. We know what they are capable of and we’ve played against them over many seasons. They are very competitive at the breakdown and we know what they can do from broken field possession. We will have to be disciplined with what we do with possession this weekend

“They’ve also got a good setpiece, a good scrum and lot of experience. We know them well. We’re looking forward to it. It will be a tough contest on the weekend.”

The biggest thing the Bulls are worried about is not to let down their guard and suffer a defeat like the Sharks did. If they can pick up the victory, and either of the other three sides falter again this weekend, they will have moved a step closer to the conference title.

And their big aim – a top two finish to secure a home semi and a chance to secure a fourth Super Rugby title.


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