PRETORIA – The Bulls are under no illusions that they need to get their act together or see another season fade into obscurity.
Inside centre Burger Odendaal yesterday admitted the team was under pressure to bounce back strongly from their defeat to the Jaguares over the weekend.
They next face a Reds side that has hardly set the world ablaze, but the same was said of the Jaguares before they won the match in the dying minutes in Pretoria.
“We have to set the record straight, we are down in the dumps and it is a hard week for us to get over that loss but we will take the positives out of it and put it behind us as quickly as possible,” Odendaal said.
“They haven’t started the season off too well, but they are looking better at this stage. It should be a physical game again where they have a couple of big carriers.
“If we are not up for it we are going to get another hiding this weekend.”
Saturday's clash at Loftus was a bizarre match in which the Bulls dominated pretty much every facet of play, which showed on the scoreboard until the 72nd minute.
But the Bulls finished the last crucial minutes of the match with only 13 men with the Jaguares exploiting the home side’s vulnerabilities, scoring two tries.
The South African Conference still has no clear favourite with the Sharks topping the table, just three points ahead of the Bulls and the Lions in second and third place respectively.
The Bulls have three more matches left on home soil before they go on their tour of Australasia, and they will be looking for a 100 percent winning record before they embark on their annual tour abroad.
“Super Rugby is a very tough competition, every week if you are not at your best you will get it (hiding),” Odendaal said.
“That is why home games are so vital, I think we did well playing the Sharks away and getting the points there but then again we lost to the Chiefs and the Jaguares here.”
They will be looking to get that monkey off their back this weekend before their next bye weekend.
The Bulls targeted four wins between the two bye weekends, which would have given them some breathing space before the next phase, which induces the tour abroad, where they play the Rebels, Brumbies, Blues and Highlanders.
“We have to set is straight and now we are in a position where we have to get bonus points in the future games,” Odendaal said.
“We made it difficult for ourselves but the season is still in our hands and we can still finish in the top eight and get into the playoffs.”@ockertde