Handré Pollard asks for more from Bulls’ Springboks

29 March 2019 - 12:21 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
The Vodacom Bulls stand-in captain Handre Pollard says everyone is under massive pressure week in and week with this being the year of the Rugby World Cup.
The Vodacom Bulls stand-in captain Handre Pollard says everyone is under massive pressure week in and week with this being the year of the Rugby World Cup.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The Bulls stand-in captain Handré Pollard has asked his teammates for more intensity when they take on a rejuvenated Sharks in their much-anticipated Super Rugby clash on Saturday at Kings Park in Durban.

The Bulls are on a rebound following an embarrassing 56-20 defeat to the Chiefs from New Zealand last weekend at Loftus‚ a result that dropped them to second-from- bottom in the South African conference.

“There were a few things that cost us last week against a quality side like the Chiefs‚ and one of those things was lack of intensity‚” Pollard said this week as the Bulls prepared for the trip to the coast.

“We have looked at that match and we have put it behind us because we have to look forward and try to get [wins in] at least three out of the four home matches that are coming.

“It is going to be tough in the coming weeks considering that we still have to travel for our overseas tour‚ but we can’t afford any slip-ups at home.”

To find ways of getting back to winning ways‚ Pollard said the Bulls discussed what happened against the Chiefs.

He said that that Springbok players in their team need to improve their performances because they are auditioning for this year’s Rugby World Cup.

“We had a chat about what happened against the Chiefs and we know that we have to be up for it because it is a South African derby.

"This season is like a long trial for most of the guys because it is a World Cup year‚ and what more do you want?

“There is pressure on us every week. You have to trust the processes and the positive thing is that we had a good training this week and we must pitch up on Saturday.

“We managed to bounce back after our loss to the Jaguares in Argentina and now we have to do it again. To be able to win away from home‚ we have to be technically good and we will have to give everything on the day.”

Asked to give his thoughts on the Sharks’ style of play‚ Pollard said the Durban side have a number of Springbok campaigners in their backline and that will give them a slight advantage.

“There are six Springboks in the Sharks backline‚ which is world-class‚” he said.

“They have physical guys in that department and you can’t say let’s take this one guy out of the game and they will lose shape because they have a group of guys who are responsible for everything.

“They work as a team and it is going to take team effort to get the better of them.”

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