The Bulls are still smarting from their 51-14 defeat by the Lions, their third successive defeat and eighth of the season, while the Hurricanes will be brimming with confidence from their 61-7 win over the Cheetahs.
The Hurricanes are miles ahead of the ailing Bulls and even though the New Zealanders come to South Africa without their inspirational captain Dane Coles, centre Matt Proctor and All Black wing Nehe Milner-Skudder due to injuries, they will still put out a formidable outfit with the likes of the Savea brothers, Ardie and Julian, and the Barrett brothers, Beauden and Jordie at Loftus Verfeld on Saturday.
However, the Bulls youngsters are standing resolute in the midst of their darkest hour in Super Rugby and there is still some fight left in their words.
Bulls flank Ruan Steenkamp concedes they have struggled to be competitive and that playing against the New Zealand sides has been a harsh but valuable learning experience.
Steenkamp is adamant things are going to turn for the Bulls as long as they keep working hard in training and believing in themselves.
“I think it is no secret that we are struggling a bit this season but we’ve also had a few good games. I believe there’s still a lot of things we can work on and as a team we are still learning and are in a building process.
“With the Hurricanes coming we are all looking forward to it and it will be a massive game. We know we have to go out there and play. We say it every week but we have to put in the hard work in training and the big thing is that we need to believe in ourselves and leave everything on the field,” said Steenkamp.
No amount of belief in one’s self could have prepared Steenkamp and many of his teammates for the hardships they are facing at the moment and even more so playing against some of your heroes.
“For me it was a huge privilege to play against New Zealand teams. You look at guys like Jerome Kaino and Liam Messam who are my heroes and now I get the opportunity to play against them. At the end of the day you want to test yourself against the best in the world.”
The ugly score-line against the Lions will be a reminder of how the Bulls will have to work this week just to be on level pegging with the Hurricanes.