PRETORIA - In his playing days Blue Bulls assistant coach Pote Human was known for his hard work, being fearless and never willing to back down from a challenge.
And that is exactly what the former Cheetahs loose forward will be expecting from his pack of forwards when they take on the Sharks in their Currie Cup clash in Durban on Saturday.
Human, who recently ascended to assisting John Mitchell, wants nothing short of a forward dominated performance that will all but hand them victory and at the same time keep their play-off hopes alive.
“We will have to match their forwards upfront, they have a good maul and set-piece. We have to match them there because we know we have the backs to beat any side so the forwards will have to pitch on the day,” Human said.
“They are on top of the log, they have a good pack, are a good team and are playing good rugby at the moment. But I must say that I am confident in our guys and we have improved game by game. It is a huge challenge for us but we are looking forward to it.”
The Bulls have had an indifferent season thus far, losing five of their eight matches but that doesn’t tell the full story of a side that has boxed toe-to-toe with most of their opponents.
It has been in the heat of those battles that Human has noticed the rapid growth of his players, especially the likes of young locks Ruben van Heerden and Aston Fortuin.
“Definitely, it is two youngsters Ruben is 20 and Aston 21 but they have really made the step up and put their hands up. If the Bulls can keep a hold of them, they can be good for the future of Bulls rugby.”
“I knew that the players had the potential when I worked with them in the Varsity Cup I could feel that there is something special going on so I am not surprised. I know their talents and the whole group’s work ethic is the key for our success,” Human said.
Human has no doubt in his mind that the Bulls will be successful again and with Mitchell in charge, Human feels that this Currie Cup campaign is the beginning of getting the team back on track.
“I think John has brought in calmness, he is a very positive person and the guys really like working with him. There is really a good spirit amongst the guys and we know that we are on the right track and everyone is positive and there is a good vibe amongst the guys.”
In order for the Bulls to remain in track they will have to win their last games of the round robin stage of the competition starting with the Sharks in Durban before facing WP at home, the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein and Pumas at Loftus Versfeld.
Victories in all four games will secure the Bulls a place in the play-offs which Human believes they deserve but it will start upfront and against the Sharks.
“Most definitely, we are still in with a chance. It’s going to be tough with the Sharks and Cheetahs away, WP at home and the Pumas who gave us 50 at home as well. It is going to be a tough four weeks ... but we are only looking at the Sharks at the moment. We know that it is going to be tough in the Shark Tank but we still believe we can make the semis.”