VIDEO: Bulls sharp enough for Rainbow Cup Final and Currie Cup
REACTION: The Bulls found themselves in an extraordinary situation ahead of their Rainbow Cup Final in Italy.
Aside from having to deal with Covid-19 vaccinations, the Currie Cup champs also have to juggle between the Rainbow Cup final and the start of the local Currie Cup this week.
The Bulls, who have been dominating South African rugby, will travel to Italy to face Benetton Treviso in the first Pro Rugby Rainbow Cup Final on June 19.
Benetton Treviso, captained by former Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage, booked their final spot last week after their match against Ospreys was called off due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Italians were awarded the match points and sealed the European edition of the Rainbow Cup.
The Bulls clinched a spot in the showpiece with a 34-22 win over the Sharks on Saturday.
Jake White’s charges only needed one log point from their final match of the league stage but managed to overcome two yellow cards and score four tries against a determined Sharks team in Durban.
Speaking to reporters during the virtual post-match briefing, Bulls Director of Rugby White revealed that the Pro Rugby’s first cross-hemisphere Final is an ‘exciting occasion’ not just for his team but for South African fans.
“It’s an exciting occasion for the whole of South Africa,” White said.
“Everyone is just keen to see a different type of game to the local derbies. Through circumstance, we had to play each other on many occasions,”
White added: “The [Sharks coach] Sean Everitt told me: ‘Go win it for South Africa’. The reality is that everyone just wants to see something different. We have a great chance to play in Europe for the first time and we want to measure ourselves against the best in the competition.
“We want to see where we compare to the only team that’s been unbeaten in this tournament,”
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While the main mission will be to secure the first-ever Rainbow Cup trophy, the Pretoria-based franchise also have a crucial Currie Cup fixture against the Western Province on Saturday, June 19 at Loftus Versfeld.
However given the side’s depth and ties with their local clubs, White is confident his side is more than capable of handling both.
“We have to look at our injury count, however, I don’t think we have any serious injuries,” White said, adding: “We have to select the 26 or 27 men squad for Italy and then just have to select a Currie Cup team from those who are not taking the trip.
“We have been planning for this situation for a while because we knew we are going to be short of players. We lost seven or eight players to the South Africa Under-20 camp which is in Cape Town.
“So not only have we lost Springboks but also a couple of junior players that I would’ve liked to have part of the Currie Cup team,”
He added: “Pine Pienaar, who is part of the technical squad, has been working behind the scenes to make sure we are prepared. He has been watching some Carlton Leagues games, so we should be okay,”
The Bulls travel to Italy on Monday.