Sat, 16 Jan 2021

Western Province lock Salmaan Moerat insists their recent hammering at the hands of the Bulls will not have an adverse psychological effect in this weekend's return Currie Cup fixture at Newlands.

The Bulls thumped the Stormers 39-6 at Loftus Versfeld in the Super Rugby Unlocked encounter on 31 October - a game that was also halted after 63 minutes due to a thunderstorm.

Now, four weeks later, the Capetonians will get the chance for revenge.

"Obviously it's very tough accepting a loss like that but I remember clearly after the game one of the things that we mentioned was just how excited we are that we're getting [to play them again] withing four weeks of that game," Moerat told reporters in a virtual media briefing on Tuesday.

"And here we are now this weekend. It's an exciting prospect and something that we're really looking forward to. You don't always get this opportunity [to redeem yourself so quickly], so we're going to do everything we can to be well prepared."

Western Province will draw on the experience of what transpired in the 2018 Currie Cup when a Blue Bulls turnaround almost cost them a spot in the final.

In their final round-robin clash, John Dobson's charges thumped the Bulls a 34-7 in Pretoria in a game that was also curtailed due to adverse weather.

A week later, the Bulls produced an inspired performance in the semi-final at Newlands, with WP only winning 35-32 after the game had gone to extra time.

"I actually remember that game quite clearly, and if I'm not mistaken we went into extra time. It just shows how one week you can dominate and the other week you can be dominated. We're really excited for this weekend, we've prepared really well. It's always a massive game against the Bulls."

Saturday's match at Newlands takes on added significance in that it could be the last time these old foes meet at Newlands.

Unless they again square off there in the knockout stages, the Bulls won't play at Newlands again as WP Rugby will move its headquarters to Cape Town Stadium after the conclusion of the Currie Cup.

There will be no fans due to Covid-19 protocols and Moerat said they've looked at alternative ways to get fired up.

"It's a lot different... We've quickly realised that we won't be getting our energy from the faithful. So we realised that needs to come from within our team. That's where the bench comes in - they have made a massive difference over the past two weeks. Just the way they motivate the guys on the side of the field, it does go a long way."

Source: News24

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