Bulls coach Pote Human is confident his team can get a win over the Crusaders. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
The weekend’s clash against the Crusaders can both ignite or sink the Bulls’ campaign as they look to head into their four-week tour of Australasia with a rare win over the defending Super Rugby champions.

Bulls coach Pote Human understands the magnitude of the challenge with the Crusaders boasting a nearly impeccable record this season.

The Crusaders have lost just one match with two finishing in draws so far this season. Human elicited the memories of the Bulls’ successful 2007 Super 14 campaign when they won the competition for the first time.

“It is a home game, it is against the Crusaders, who are the best team in the competition, so our focus is only on Friday night before it shifts to the tour,” Human said.

“It would be great for our confidence if we can climb on the plane with a win behind our names. I was in a position in 2007 when we beat the Chiefs in the last minute.

"We then won three matches overseas. If we can beat the Crusaders, you can imagine what it could mean for this young team.”

The Bulls beat the Chiefs at home 30-7 before claiming victories over the Brumbies, Waratahs and Highlanders away. Defeats to the Crusaders and the Hurricanes were the only blemishes on their five-week tour in 2007.

Human added that the Sharks and Waratahs, who the Bulls have beaten this year, have shown that the Crusaders can be defeated.

“It would mean a lot to the guys to beat the Crusaders here, it is not impossible, I think the Bulls did it in 2015 here at Loftus while the Sharks have shown it can be done and the Waratahs,” Human said.

“If you can stop their momentum, stop them going forward we can put them under pressure, but it is easier said than done. It will require a huge effort and a great attitude from everyone in the team to try and stop them.”

Human remains confident of his team's chances of lifting the Super Rugby trophy, despite their inconsistency. “I really believe this is the best side, it is going to be difficult, but I have confidence in the guys,” he said.

The Bulls received a shot in the arm ahead of Friday’s clash with the return of Springboks Schalk Brits and Jason Jenkins to the starting lineup.

Brits has served his four-match ban, while Jenkins has recovered from a pictorial muscle injury with both returning for the first time since the Bulls’ win over the Sharks in Durban.

Bulls team: Warrick Gelant, Cornal Hendricks, Johnny Kotze, Burger Odendaal, Rosko Specman, Handre Pollard (c), Andre Warner, Duane Vermeulen, Jannes Kirsten, Marco van Staden, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane, Schalk Brits, Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Simphiwe Matanzima, Wiehahn Herbst, Thembelani Bholi, Paul Schoeman, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Divan Rossouw.


Pretoria News

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