Nyakane: Bulls targeting all their tour games
PRETORIA – After salving some of the scars of their torrid start to the season with sweet victory over the Highlanders, the Bulls have a chance to use their Australasian tour as a springboard for a serious charge at the Super Rugby playoffs.
Sure, one swallow doesn’t make a summer but a flight to a foreign country can often give players and management staff the bonding time required to gel a team. It might be tough at first for those players with young families, such as new dad Trevor Nyakane, but for what the Bulls need to ignite their season, a four-week trip away could give them wings.
“It’s time away from family and your surroundings but at times you need a bit time for a team to gel and to get to know each other better,” stand-in captain, Nyakane, acknowledged as much.
“Last year we enjoyed our tour on and off the field and it showed. We’ll try to do more of the same. There are new youngsters that just came into the team and it’s always important for me to know the guys on a personal level, not only about what we do on the field.
“The more you understand a person, the more you understand how they think and how they do things and that transfers onto the field.”
Gees aside, the Bulls have one of the toughest tour schedules of the South African teams. They face the Reds in Brisbane this weekend before taking on the Waratahs and crossing the Tasman to face the Hurricanes and Chiefs.
History doesn’t favour Nyakane & Co, however, as South African teams hate traveling to Brisbane. The Bulls last won in Brisbane back at Ballymore Stadium in 2004 (23-17).
But, considering they have an identical record as the Reds - one win in five matches - this season, getting off the mark with a win this Saturday should be high on their can-do list.
“We won’t say we are targeting certain games; we’re targeting all of them,” Nyakane said.
“It’s never easy, but we want to have a good tour. The road has never been easy in Super Rugby and things haven’t been easy for us lately.
“With that being said, it’s not impossible. The guys have found their feet now and they want to work hard and once we stick together, it’s possible to achieve whatever we want.”@sbu_mjikeliso