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VIDEO: Bulls keen on tackling Sharks' big guns

The Bulls are chasing the South African conference title and the top spot on the standings in the United Rugby Championship.


In the decisive final round of league action, they travel to Durban to face the just-crowned European Challenge Cup champions, the Sharks.

The biggest poser is whether the Sharks will bring out the big guns or rest their World Cup-winning stars.

Bulls hooker and Springbok alignment camp invitee Johan Grobbelaar said their mindset is to focus on themselves, regardless of which team the Sharks put out.

Victory in Durban will ensure they are crowned South African conference winners, but that is not a priority for the Pretoria-based franchise either.

The Bulls head the SA conference standings with 20 points, closely followed by the Stormers, who cross swords with the Lions on Saturday in the Mother City, with 17.


“That is in the back of your mind and it will be great to win the South African conference, but at the end of the day if you win that you haven’t won that much,” Grobbelaar said.

“The main focus will always be the final and winning that URC trophy.”

VIDEO: Bulls keen on tackling Sharks' big guns

Durban has also not been the most hospitable venue for the Bulls – with a Super Rugby match in March 2019 the last time the Bulls won an ‘international’ match in the Shark Tank.


Grobbelaar told @rugby365com that he had pondered the Durban factor earlier, especially the humidity and sweaty conditions.

“It is never easy and there is always sweat on the ball,” he said.

“However, it is time for us to get a win there [in Durban].”

With a realistic chance of finishing top of the standings, a win in Durban will go a long way towards achieving that goal.

However, Grobbelaar will be happy if the Sharks bring out the big guns – the likes of Makazole Mapimpi, Grant Williams, Eben Etzebeth, Vincent Koch, Bongi Mbonambi and Ox Nche.

(Bulls hooker Johan Grobbelaar previews the Round 18 URC trip to Durban….)

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“If you want to win the trophy you have to win games like this,” the 26-year-old to @rugvby365com.

“If you want to win a semifinal or Final you’re going to have to win against teams like the Sharks.

“If they send their best team then we can measure ourselves against the best.

“We’ve seen in the past that when you go into play-off games and you have a very easy game of running away with the scoreboard, then teams tend to get a bit comfortable,” Grobbelaar added.

“We don’t want an easy game, we want to get tested.

“All respect to the Sharks, people always talk about an A team and B team but whoever they send out will be very strong in Durban.”

“This is a difficult time to face them, they’re starting to play their best rugby now. I don’t think they’re going to go away or are satisfied with their season yet, even though they’ve won a trophy.

“They’re going to want to finish strong; it’s a home game for them and they aren’t backing off one bit and we’re up for a big challenge.”

The hooker said he has been focused on the ‘basics’ to improve his game.


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