Cape Town - Bulls coach John Mitchell welcomes the fact that they will open their 2018 Super Rugby campaign against New Zealand opposition.
The Bulls play their first match in the competition this Saturday when they entertain the Hurricanes at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
The Bulls lost all five of their matches against New Zealand opposition in 2017 but Mitchell is not perturbed.
Regarding the prospect of starting the competition against a Kiwi side, Mitchell told Netwerk24: “It forces you to immediately pay more attention to all the detail. They’re very dangerous on attack and can expose you at any moment. I’d like to see us compete until the 80th minute.
“The New Zealand teams have set the standard in the competition since 2014 and they’re getting even better. For us it’s not about one match but it’s nevertheless important to deliver a performance on which you can build.”
In last year’s match between the sides at Loftus, the 'Canes won in comfortable fashion (34-20), but Mitchell has assured Bulls fans that they’ll enter this weekend’s clash with a different attitude.
The Bulls also struggled in matches against the other Kiwi teams in 2017, losing to the Blues (38-14, Albany), Chiefs (28-12, Hamilton), Crusaders (62-24, Pretoria) and Highlanders 17-10, Pretoria).
Mitchell will name his side on Thursday, with Saturday’s clash scheduled for 17:15.