Bulls expect 'humdinger' against Cardiff
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Bulls assistant coach Pine Pienaar revealed that his team will face a real test at home against Cardiff on Saturday.
Cardiff head to Loftus Versfeld in very high spirits after a one-sided 35-0 win over the Sharks last weekend.
The win saw them become the first Welsh side to record a victory on South African soil, while they also beat the Stormers earlier this season at Cardiff Arms Park.
The Bulls, at the back of a win over the Ospreys, will certainly have their work cut out for them as they tried to defend their record at Loftus Versfeld.
“Cardiff played an extremely well-balanced game against the Sharks, so we need to be spot on,” Pienaar said.
“They have great individuals and in terms of balance, they are the better Welsh side.
“They have beaten Stormers and last week the Sharks, so it is going to be a tough game for us.
“They have good set-piece, big carriers and a No.9 and No.18 that drives the game.
“Nonetheless, it’s a challenge we look forward to and it is going to be a humdinger.”
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Second half snooze
Pienaar identified a major work-on and has urged the Bulls to exert pressure in the second half, something that was lacking during the win over the Ospreys.
“We were very proud of the outing, and it was good to come away with a good win,” Pienaar said, adding: “We started with great intensity after coming back from the four-week international break.
“But while in the first half we started really well, and everything we’d worked on came through, we lost a little bit of momentum in the second half and just couldn’t build and sustain pressure like we would have liked.
“Having said that, we have to give credit to the Ospreys who handled the pressure well after half-time.
“We did finish the game well though, which was good for our confidence.
“Nonetheless, in the second half, we have to be a bit better in how we build pressure with or without the ball.
“We have to get ourselves in a good position on the field to create opportunities.
“And when they are in our half, we need to make sure we create more pressure defensively and force turnovers.”
Regarding the return of Marco van Staden and other Springboks ahead of the clash, Pienaar said: “They have been training with us but I am not sure if the Boks are all available for us this weekend. That is a question you’d have to ask coach Jake white.”
He conceded: “Marco is one of the guys currently training with us, but the team hasn’t been selected yet.
“However, I have to compliment a guy like Nizaam Carr. He had a good outing for us against the Ospreys [playing as the No 6].
“Cyle Brink came back from an injury, so again it’s nice to have those types of players.
“It’s sad that a guy like Marcell [Coetzee] is not with us at the moment, but guys here are making a statement.
“It’s great having Marco back and we have quality players to step in. So, selection will be a difficult part for us.”