The Bulls will be desperate to end a three-match losing streak when they come up against Welsh side, the Dragons, in the United Rugby Championship in Newport on Friday night, kick-off at 9.35pm.
The three defeats have come in both the URC and Champions Cup, with Jake White’s side experiencing a disappointing festive period.
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Last season’s URC runners-up first crashed to Exeter 44-14 in the elite Champions Cup in mid-December before they also lost to the Stormers (37-27) and Sharks (47-20) over Christmas and the New Year in the URC.
Despite the losses, White’s side are well-placed in the URC points table. They are currently in fourth position with seven wins from 11 matches. At the same stage last season, the Bulls had won one match out of seven.
However, another slip-up in Wales will pile even more pressure on White and his charges, and it is no surprise breakdown coach Nollis Marais this week said, “this is an important one for us.”
“The Dragons have got a good home record and we know it won’t be easy, but we obviously want to get the win,” said Marais ahead of the match on Friday.
The Dragons are 14th out of 16 teams though with just three wins from their 11 matches so the Bulls will believe this is a game they should win.
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And while the former head coach of the Bulls said it was still taking a little time for the South African teams to get used to the conditions and challenges of playing against European teams in the URC (as opposed to Super Rugby) they know what to expect of their opponents this weekend.
“Super Rugby was fast, we knew what was coming. In the URC conditions mean there are more focus points, and every team has their own unique style,” said Marais.
“That said, we know what’s coming from the Dragons. They like to slow the game down, they target the breakdowns and they kick a lot. They play a spoiling game, too, but we’re focusing on us … and we’re going to have to be accurate and all be on the same page.”