Bulls captain Coetzee expecting bruising battle with the Lions
After they booked a place in the Champions Cup last 16 against Lyon in April, the Bulls have turned their attention to the United Rugby Championship (URC), which resumes with the Jukskei derby against the Lions at Loftus Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
The Bulls will take on the Lions with their confidence high after they pulled off a hard-fought Champions Cup win over Bordeaux Bègles last weekend to secure safe passage to the competition’s knockout stages.
“We managed to get a win over a quality side like Bordeaux, but there were a few disappointing moments in the game,” said Bulls captain Marcel Coetzee.
“I felt as soon as they scored their bonus point, guys dipped a little bit in performance but overall I am proud of the composure and maturity they showed to grind out the win. It shows you you can’t have one soft moment in the tournament, otherwise other teams capitalise on that.”
Looking ahead to the visit by the Lions, Coetzee said he is expecting a gruelling contest.
“We are playing another quality side this weekend in the Lions. We know they are going to be tough to beat because they are a physical side and we are expecting a tough contest,” he said, adding they are happy to be back home and not travelling.
“I think the travelling maybe took its toll on the players in the second half against Bordeaux. This is because you train at altitude, then go overseas at sea level and come back to readapt again.
“It is the second week we are back in home conditions and it feels good to be home because we have played away a lot recently. It feels good to be playing at home but we are going to be tested by the Lions, who are a quality outfit with a strong set piece.”
Because of the travelling and juggling the URC and Champions Cup, Coetzee said the technical team have a plan to ensure workloads of players are managed properly.
“The planning regarding resting of players and getting the balance right is efficient. That’s one of our strong points this season. We have good depth and guys are performing whenever they get opportunities, which is good.
“Everyone knows where they stand. We also have Currie Cup coming, so it is all about the planning behind the scenes. Players want to contribute, whether they are in the Currie Cup or the Champions Cup because places are up for grabs.”
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.