With a bye week looming‚ the Bulls and the Sharks are in first and second places respectively in the South African conference after four Super Rugby matches.
The Bulls dismantled the Sharks 37-14 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. While they again missed out on a bonus point‚ the Bulls have won three of their four fixtures.
The wins came against SA opposition while they lost away to the Jaguares. They return to action on March 23 when they host the Chiefs.
Coach Pote Human said the Bulls are happy with the progress they have made.
“We need to win first and the bonus point will come. We need to gather momentum. You may have seen what’s happened in the past when the Bulls started well only to fall away during the season. We just have to focus on each game and we have the Chiefs to follow‚” Human said.
Handre Pollard‚ who played in his 50th Super Rugby match for the Bulls‚ again proved why he is SA’s No1 flyhalf with a polished performance against the Sharks. He collected 22 points including a drop goal.
The important part of his performance was how he found a way to keep the Sharks at bay, while Rosko Specman continued his dream Super Rugby season with two tries.
“I don’t kick drop goals and I think that was my first one for the Bulls but at the time‚ it was a right call because it took us two scores ahead. The way we play is the way we believe in and we need to keep it up‚” Pollard said.
Sharks coach Robert du Preez said his side had been outmuscled in the physical exchanges for the second week in succession. They have the week off have to lick their wounds before the Rebels head to Durban.
The Sharks started the season well with wins against the Sunwolves and the Blues. Two losses against SA opposition have undone their early hard work.
“When you play well in the first two games and you struggle in your last two‚ it has to be a concern. We’ve got a very talented squad and I know we’ll bounce back.
“It’s a physical battle and the derbies are unbelievably physical. The teams that’s most physical and aggressive will come out on top‚” Du Preez said. “We’ve got beaten up two weeks in a row but we need to come back and take stock. It’s good the guys now have a break.”