Super Rugby

Bulls take confidence into make-or-break Australasian tour

The Bulls believe their Australasian Super Rugby tour will allow them to gel into a more close-knit unit as they look to go undefeated in all four matches.

According to the website, the men from Pretoria departed for Brisbane on Monday afternoon where they will open their tour against the Reds on Saturday.

While the Bulls are still a yawning 14 points behind the SA Conference - and overall log - leaders, the Sharks (albeit having played one fewer match), coach Pote Human believes the tour will determine whether or not they still have a chance of making the playoffs.

Skipper Trevor Nyakane said last weekend's 38-13 win over the Highlanders will give them confidence to tackle the tour head on.

"We want to have a good tour even though it is never easy on the road in Super Rugby... it will be a big challenge but saying that it will not be impossible. The guys have some confidence and are willing to work hard. Once you're working hard and believe then it is possible to achieve anything," Nyakane said.

The front-ranker added that they expected a tough outing against the Reds.

"They are a good set-piece team as well so it won't be easy, but we will go out and try and win every game. At this point in time for us to be able to even think of a playoff we need to take it every step every week, and if the result sorts itself out, we never know where we are going to end. We are going out there with confidence and we are going to try and win every game."

After Saturday's clash in Brisbane, the Bulls will face the Waratahs (Tamworth, New South Wales, 21 March), Hurricanes (Wellington, 27 March) and Chiefs (Hamilton, 4 April).

Nyakane believes they are well-positioned for a good tour and said the key was to "get personal" and truly live out their family mantra.

"It's time away from your family and surroundings, but at times you need that bit of time for teams to stick together and gel together. Last year we showed we enjoyed the time and we will show the youngsters who have come in. It is important for us and me especially to get to know the guys on a personal level and not just what they do on the field.

"The more you get to know guys on that level, the more you understand how they do things and can relate, and that transfers onto the field. You always get why they do this... why they are playing rugby, we all have different reasons but when you start understanding why it helps you gel as a team. We are looking forward to spending time together and looking forward to a bit of time with the youngsters.

"I am going to ask them a few personal questions and hope they do the same. We need to know each other, and in order to become a family we need to know each other's likes and dislikes. Hopefully spending time together we will become stronger."

The win against the Highlanders was a massive step forward for the Bulls.

"It was a very important thing for us. Our fans have been very faithful for us and that's why I thanked them after the game for sticking with us. We actually did owe them a victory, something for them to enjoy as well," Nyakane added.

"It was very important for us to get the victory and to get onto the plane with a bit of confidence. The boys executed very well and we managed to get the victory. The youngsters that came through fitted in like a glove and did what was required from them, that is why we did well.

"When you get into games like this when it is a bit of an arm-wrestle you want to build an innings. We always say we know we will break the wall at some point. It won't be open and free-flowing from the first minute but with pressure things start changing and it is demoralising when you keep getting scrummed. We knew if we keep on doing that somewhere it will fall our way. As coach said we just needed to keep on doing what we are doing and it would fall our way and in the second half it happened."

The Bulls are set to name their team on Wednesday.

Bulls touring squad:

Trevor Nyakane, Jaco Visagie, Lizo Gqoboka, Muller Uys, Josh Strauss, Marco van Staden, Ruan Nortje, Ian Groenewald, Corniel Els, Gerhard Steenekamp, Wiehahn Herbst, Ryno Pieterse, Ruan Steenkamp, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Louis van der Westhuizen, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Rosko Specman, Johnny Kotze, Franco Naude, Cornal Hendricks, Warrick Gelant, Ivan van Zyl, Morne Steyn, Divan Rossouw, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Burger Odendaal

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