PRETORIA - Nobody will blame the Bulls for having revenge on their minds when they take on the Jaguares in their dead rubber Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
After all, it was the Jaguares who inflicted the Bulls’ heaviest defeat of the season that began a downward spiral for the three-time champions that has resulted in them missing out on a play-off berth. But Saturday’s game won’t be about revenge for the 54-24 drubbing in Buenos Aires, just rectifying their wrongs and making sure they halt their three-match losing streak, which includes losses to the Brumbies and Sunwolves, and show they are a better side than their lowly 11th position may suggest, according to loose forward Marco van Staden.
“We are not going to change the process, we are going to still stick to our process which we’ve been doing the whole year,” said Van Staden yesterday. “But we definitely want to get them back for what they did to us there, not in the sense of revenge or changing stuff, but staying in the process and doing the things we know and have trained for this week on match day.”
And while the Bulls cannot reverse the result they suffered at the hands of the Jaguares and the shock defeat against the Sunwolves in Singapore last Saturday, they can take the disappointment of not playing to their potential and use it as a source of motivation in closing off the season well. “Obviously it was disappointing and it hurt after the game,” Van Staden said about the 42-37 loss to the Sunwolves.
If it is motivation that the men in blue will be looking for then they won’t have to look further than Van Staden, who suffered a double knee and ankle injury in the last game against the Brumbies before the June internationals, with the former Hoerskool Bekker pupil certain of a place in the Springbok squad. The 22-year-old Van Staden, who never played any representative rugby at school or in junior rugby, admits that he was disappointed in missing out on becoming a Springbok last month but is willing to work even harder in the last couple of games to prove that he is worthy of wearing the green and gold in the not too distant future.
“For sure I was disappointed. It happened in the last two minutes of the game and it was a very disappointing moment. But everything happens for a reason and the Lord has a plan and we must go with His plan,” said the young man nicknamed “Eskom” after he tackled the lights out of two opposition players during his Varsity Cup days for Tuks. “It makes me work harder to get into the group. I will work hard with every opportunity I get.”