Johann Sadie

Bulls have plenty to play for

2012-07-18 12:44
Sport24 columnist Johann Sadie (File)

The Boks sing for Madiba

2012-07-18 10:50

The Springbok rugby team sing Happy Birthday to our international icon, Nelson Mandela.

It was awesome running out at Loftus against the Sharks in the first game of the season. Unluckily, I was injured early in the game, which was very disappointing.

We all play rugby to play in quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. That’s what you work towards the whole season. So while it’s obviously frustrating for me, that’s how it goes in life.

My recovery though is going very well and I’m definitely looking to be back for the first game of the Currie Cup season. I can’t wait to start playing again.

Myself, Jurgen Visser, Lionel Cronje and JJ Engelbrecht all stay together so it been easy to adapt to life in Pretoria and we are having a great time. 

I think both the Bulls and Stormers have excellent structures and are very professional setups. For me, they are actually quite similar. Both sides play a bit more of a kicking game, are very strong on defence and try to strangle their opponents.

The Stormers winning 14 of their 16 games is a great achievement in itself. Whenever a South African team does that well, and finishes on top of the overall log, it’s very impressive.

Despite being such a new team, we have been doing so well at the Bulls. We have been unlucky to lose a few games by narrow margins. I think things would have been a bit different had we won one or two of those close games.

But hopefully the guys can do well on Saturday against the Crusaders, and who knows perhaps we can still host a home final?

The guys really got into their stride nicely in the second half against the Lions. We have got some momentum now and hopefully we can carry it through to Saturday’s game.

The guys are very excited ahead of the playoff, but know a very big task awaits. Winning a quarter-final in Christchurch would mean a lot to the team, so all the guys can’t wait for Saturday.

I think the travel factor will play a big role as the team only arrives today. Playing the Crusaders in Christchurch is going to be difficult and something you first have to overcome mentally. But there are plenty Springboks in our side, so the guys will all know what to expect.

We know the Crusaders play with quite a lot of width, and are capable of playing nice running rugby, so we are going to have to stop that first of all. But if we stick to our structures and to what we know best, I think we will do really well.

While I started the season at outside centre before getting injury, I think JJ has taken his opportunity and is playing unbelievable rugby at the moment. He is a very versatile player and I’m glad for him. 

Being a quarter-final, I think this weekend’s game will be very tight. I’m not sure how much attacking rugby there will be, but first and foremost, it will be a very big battle up front. I am quite excited about watching the game.

Our lineout is our strong point, so if we can dominate that area, I think it will give us an advantage. Juandre Kruger is playing so well at the moment and is producing brilliant rugby.

I cannot wait to watch the breakdown battle - it’s going to be big. Richie McCaw has been the best flank in world rugby for so long, but knowing our guys, they are really going to be up for the challenge.

Although we practice the kick-and-chase tactic quite a lot, it has now become a natural part of our game. Every player knows exactly where to be when employing it. The guys are quite well-oiled in that department.

I see the Reds-Sharks clash being another good game. While the Reds will be without the suspended Quade Cooper, the fact that they are playing at home ensures we are in for another tight encounter.

I think the whole of South Africa is hoping that the Bulls and Sharks can win this weekend. Having three teams in the semi-finals would be great.

Johann Sadie is a current Bulls centre and former Baby Bok.

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