Sydney - Kane Douglas is daring the Bulls and their fans to throw all of
their ferocity at him and the Waratahs before, and during, this
weekend's clash in Pretoria. And if they do, the second-rower says he
will just, ''soak it up and go, 'How good's this?' ''
Douglas has learnt to embrace the rigours of touring South Africa rather than succumbing to them.
''When you get to the South African airport … you go through
customs and they are like, 'Who are you playing this week?' '' he said.
''And [after answering], it's like, 'The Bulls. They are going to smash
you. You'll never beat them.' ''
Douglas laughed as he recalled the sight of Bulls fans at
their pre-match ''braai'' outside the stadium when the Waratahs team
In Afrikaans that Douglas does not understand, he said they
started ''yelling … whacking the bus. They pretty much hate you from
the start. You walk in and you can't hear yourself think. They are
yelling at us … it's totally different playing in Australia. They are
probably swearing at you, I don't know.''
Bulls fans have plenty to cheer about. The Waratahs have not
beaten their side in Pretoria since 2002 when they won the game 51-19.
The Waratahs' home record is not too great either. Their last
wins in Sydney were in 2005 - in the semi-final (23-13) and their home
But Douglas said the Waratahs can write a fresh chapter in
their history this weekend when they play the Bulls, who are third on
the ladder and first in the South African conference. ''We can do it.
The Brumbies did it [in 2006]. Teams can beat them,'' Douglas said. He
then explained how he will handle antagonism from a fiery home
crowd: ''You just have to soak it up and go, 'How good's this?' ''
But to pull off the win, Douglas said the Waratahs must dish
out their own dose of ferocity against the Bulls - especially in the
''I have played the Bulls a couple of times over here, so I
know what physicality they are going to bring,'' he said. ''The Bulls
have a big forward pack and pride themselves on set-piece, so it's going
to be a big one.''