CAPE TOWN – Western Province taking on the Blue Bulls in a good ol’ north-south derby is more often than not a match one expects to be a proper challenge.
The age-old rivalry and the guaranteed quality of each team’s line-up makes the fixture a highlight on the domestic calendar, and earlier this week, Province hooker Scarra Ntubeni identified Lood de Jager as not only a vital cog in the Bulls pack that will run out for their Currie Cup opener at Newlands on Saturday (5.15pm kickoff), but also a key figure for the visiting team overall.
He has delivered the throw-in to a number of lineouts De Jager has contested and knows all about the Bulls man’s work ethic, so naturally, Ntubeni expects the set-piece to be “tougher with Lood in there”.
“I think it’s going to be an all-round game but definitely more towards the set-piece,” Ntubeni said. “When we play the Bulls there are a lot of set-piece battles. Lood’s going to be playing as well, so he’s going to be leading upfront. They’ve got a very good backline as well.
“Lood will sit and work on a Sunday and work for three or four hours looking at our lineouts and then come on Monday and present to the team. That’s the type of guy he is, he really enjoys it and he puts in a lot of effort.