Blue Buls director of rugby John Mitchell. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

PRETORIA - Blue Bulls coach John Mitchell has told his team to forget about the Currie Cup semi-finals and about Sunday’s opponent Western Province and rather focus on getting better as a team.

The Bulls are lying second from the bottom of the log and with three matches remaining, they run the risk of missing out on the play-offs after being losing finalists last year.

Mitchell, though, doesn’t want his team to think too far ahead nor overthink the threat that awaits them at Loftus Versfeld.

What will be utmost in mind for Mitchell is how his team converts their ever-improving performances into victories and how they can finally bring to life the all encompassing running game that Mitchell insists on them playing.

“It is not something I focus on and I don’t expect the players to focus on the log nor do we focus on the opposition. All we are worrying about at the moment and concerning ourselves with and putting our positive energy towards is how we can get better," Mitchell said. 

"Our biggest task is to become consistent and that is the challenge that is in front of us. But we are running out of time. There is a realisation that we are going to have to become very cohesive and consistent very soon."

In his quest to continuously strength his side, Mitchell has handed Springbok Sevens star Tim Agaba his first start since joining the Bulls in August along with young flank Marco van Staden.

The other changes come on the bench with flyhalf Tony Jantjies returning after sitting out last week due to the availability of Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard while prop Dayan van der Westhuizen also returns to the team along with fit again Boom Prinsloo.

Mitchell has admitted that the pressure for results is growing. “There is always pressure, it depends on how you manage and handle it.

“We control our own pressure and focus on getting better ourselves. Focussing on basically making sure we are sharp, have a great attitude and the processes that will be under pressure or apply to the opposition at some point. So what external pressure comes is irrelevant to us, ultimately that is something we can’t control,” he said.

“We are in good spirits, we have good energy and know that our destiny is in our own hands and at the end of the day we are leaving it late. But we certainly have to at some point collectively kick on and send a message to everyone in this competition.”

Pretoria News

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