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VIDEO - 'It's a mental thing': Bulls won't get caught in the same trap

SPOTLIGHT: Bulls star Ruan Vermaak said his team can’t afford to “fall asleep” in the United Rugby Championship Final like they did against the same opponents last month.

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Jake White’s side will be up against Franco Smith’s Glasgow Warriors in Pretoria on Saturday and their previous meeting at the same venue has been one of the main topics of discussion.

On May 11, the Warriors were down 10-37 heading into the final quarter before they scored three converted tries in eight minutes on their way to a 34-40 defeat.

In last weekend’s 25-20 semifinal victory over Leinster, the Bulls showed a steely determination on their way to an 80-minute performance, and they will be out to produce a similar effort over the weekend.

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“Our mindset has changed over the last couple of weeks to make sure that we don’t fall asleep after 60 minutes of play,” said Vermaak.

“In a final, we are going to take every point we can take, so it can definitely become a high-scoring game [again].

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“With finals, it can be a low-scoring game as well. We will just have to be prepared for every situation.”

The lock added: “If you take that Glasgow and Benetton games, we had a comfortable lead and then that last 20 minutes I think we just got complacent.

“That is something we’ve worked on in the last couple of weeks – to make sure that if you are in that position again, just take it all the way and don’t take your foot off the gas.

“We’ll make sure that we don’t get caught in that same trap again.”

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Vermaak wanted to make it clear that the issue surrounding their second-half collapse had nothing to do with fitness

“I think it was just a mental thing. I definitely won’t say it was a fitness thing,” said the 26-year-old.

“We just have to be mentally prepared to play that full 80.

“They [Glasgow Warriors] are a team that back themselves for 80 minutes. They are going to come out guns blazing.

“We just have to make sure that we are up for it.

“All credit to the coaching staff. We’ve worked hard the whole season and we are going to back ourselves to perform for 80 minutes.’

@rugby365com

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In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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