Pretoria - Bulls prop Trevor Nyakane is relishing the scrum battle that awaits on Saturday when his side open their 2019 Super Rugby campaign against the Stormers.
While the teams haven't been finalised there are few that will forget the scrum demolition in the Currie Cup game last year in the rain-shortened game at Loftus Versfeld - and the comeback that the Blue Bulls put in to make the semi-final go down to the wire a week later.
But this weekend the much-vaunted Stormers pack will be looking for a big win, and the Bulls will need to be able to live up to the hype they have created in the pre-season.
"It's going to be a challenge, but I'm excited, we had a taste of it two weeks ago. It went alright but they will have their full strength side so we are looking forward to it and it will be a great day," Nyakane told SuperSport.com.
"It's rugby, one day you are up there and one day you are down and it's part of how scrums go. We haven't played them as a full-strength side as well. We can't wait to see what they bring to the table and what we bring to see who wins that battle but at this point in time, we need to work on what we need to work on and see how it is going to go.
"I have no idea what they think, I cannot think for them but only for myself. But all I know is, whatever they bring, we will have to match it and do better. Firepower or no firepower, scrum is a battle you have to win on the day. On the day if you have the upper hand then you have the upper hand and it can go like that. It is something they are going to come for, and something the Bulls will go for and it is something we can’t wait to see on the day."
Nyakane has enjoyed working with new scrum coach Daan Human and believes he will bring out the best in the pack.
"He is a very good coach, we have seen what he has done with the Cheetahs in the set-piece. He has brought a few different things that we aren’t used to but obviously we haven’t had a long time with him, but we are getting the hang of how he wants us to do things, and the way he does things. I think it is very exciting at this point in time and the youngsters are enjoying it and we have to adapt to exactly what he is looking for. I can’t wait to go onto the field and test what he wants against a strong pack."
In the Superhero Sunday game the Bulls were hit hard for mistakes that cost early tries, and this won’t be the case again. Nyakane believes the Bulls will tighten their game up.
"It's mistakes that cost us that game at the end of the day but it is also things we can work on and sort out ourselves. It is all up to us how we are going to react to it but as we all know, if you are going to make such mistakes against the Stormers they are going to punish you all day. So we have to make sure that we keep ball in hand and make sure there is continuity in the game."
Working with veteran Schalk Brits has its advantages and the experience has certainly done a wonder for confidence in the Bulls pack.
"I think it differs from person to person. I enjoy working with the youngsters and with Schalk as well. I just want to get onto the field and enjoy myself. He brings a lot of experience and Lizo (Gqoboka) as well has a lot of experience and knows what he is doing. So you feel a bit comfortable but scrums are different, one day you are on top and one day nowhere. So you have to make sure you are ready for the battle."
The Bulls will name their side for the clash on Wednesday.