PRETORIA – A defeat was hardly the start the Blue Bulls needed to kick off their Currie Cup campaign, but the shortened format means there is no time for wallowing in sorrow.
The truncated format does not allow for second chances, and the Light Blues are looking to kick on with a tough assignment against the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
Former Springbok flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, who made a cameo in their 20-5 defeat to Western Province, said they needed to bounce back or kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.
“Because it is only one round, it is a bit tougher, but it is an exciting competition, and it is almost the case that any team can win on the day,” Boshoff said.
“We will have to get into the right frame of mind to get our first victory.”
The Blue Bulls were always going to find it tough playing with an almost new pack after the Super Rugby competition.
The backline remained largely the same, but it did not matter as they lacked quality front-foot ball due to their struggles upfront.
Boshoff said they expected the forwards to put in a few good sessions this week despite the short turnaround.
“I know they (Western Province) taught us a lesson in the scrum this weekend, and the guys will work hard to fix it and lay a foundation for us against the Cheetahs,” Boshoff said.
“When we made line-breaks, we didn’t turn them into points despite pressuring them.
“There were scoring opportunities in the second half, with a final pass or something not sticking.”
Vodacom Blue Bulls Fitness Report vs Toyota Free State Cheetahs— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) July 15, 2019
Proudly brought to you by @keyhealth_sa, @arrienelpharma and @NeoLife_Africa #BullsFamily #CurrieCupReloaded #VBBvCHE pic.twitter.com/THBQnD7BC2
The Bulls will be reeling from a host of departures after the Currie Cup season, and they are looking to build a new core before next year’s Super Rugby.
Boshoff said the Currie Cup was an opportunity for players to put up their hands under severe pressure.
“There is not a lot of time to make too many changes,” Boshoff said.
“We know what we did wrong over the weekend, and we know we have a big challenge ahead of us over the next few weeks.”@ockertde