Cape Town — His body is sore, tired, and stiff after a long United Rugby Championship (URC) season, but that won't deter Blue Bulls utility back David Kriel from trying to help his side progress to the play-offs of the Currie Cup.
Kriel was a consistent feature for the Loftus side in their URC campaign this season, playing in almost all of his side's games.
And although it has been a long nine months of rugby, he is ready to push on as his team is searching for a play-off berth in the domestic competition.
The Bulls will face the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) and currently find themselves outside the top four in the Currie Cup. They will most likely have to win all of their remaining games to have a shot at playing in the semi-finals.
For Kriel, the decision to keep pushing on for his team comes easily as he is in a position to do what he loves, despite being on the receiving end of countless bone-crunching hits.
"Just waking up with the idea that I'm doing something that countless people out there would love to do and would want to do, that's enough motivation for me to push through the pain barrier if I can put it like that," Kriel said.
He warned that the Lions will be a tough side to topple at home. But the Bulls came off the back of a convincing 40-20 win over the Griquas that will give them confidence ahead of their trip.
The Lions, though, will also be buoyed after defeating the Cheetahs 33-26 in Bloemfontein.
The Pretoria team currently sits in seventh place, almost at the foot of the log, but within reach of the fourth-placed Western Province. One win, even without a bonus point, will help them to keep up with the top dogs in the competition. But a loss can hamper their chances even further with just a couple of matches remaining.
That is why they will want to have a keen eye on guys like Sanele Nohamba, who can play at scrumhalf or flyhalf for the home side, and nippy scrumhalf Morne van den Berg.
"There's always that unpredictability within the Lions squad. Just look at that quick-tap by Sanele (Nohamba) here at Loftus against us in the URC.
"But we are working hard on our own plans, and on ourselves to execute the plans to just play the game."