The Vodacom Bulls are fully focused on their upcoming Carling Currie Cup fixture against cross-Jukskei rivals, the Sigma Lions, when the two sides meet at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
With the side from Tshwane having cemented a spot in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship playoffs, and also holding a commanding position in the Carling Currie Cup, which is also nearing the knockout stages, much talk in the public has been around the team being on the verge of playing playoff matches in two competitions.
However, Vodacom Bulls lock, Janko Swanepoel, stressed that his side was fully focused on this weekend’s domestic derby despite the team having to travel to Swansea in Wales next week for a crucial Vodacom URC encounter against Ospreys.
“All the focus is on the Sigma Lions this week, because every game in the Carling Currie Cup is important for us, just to keep that top spot on the log,” said Swanepoel ahead of Saturday’s game.
“We take it game for game, and after the Sigma Lions, then we will start focusing on the Ospreys game.”
The Vodacom Bulls are on the back of an important 48-38 win over the Windhoek Draught Griquas last weekend at home. Despite the bonus-point win, the side had a few lessons to take from the game, including not letting their guard down before the final whistle.
“So, for us, it is important to focus for the full 80 minutes. We need to begin like we did against Windhoek Draught Griquas last week, and just stick to that. We are chasing the full 80 minutes this weekend against the Sigma Lions,” said the Vodacom Bulls lock.
The opposition for this weekend may not have had the best of results so far this season, but the 22-year-old Swanepoel believes that does not take away the danger posed by the side from Johannesburg when they square up.
“We cannot take the Lions lightly,” said the second-rower.
“We saw how they played last week. They almost beat the Toyota Cheetahs (losing 35-26). It was just the discipline that cost them in the last few minutes of the second half.
“So, we must just prepare for a tough game, and you can never know what might happen.”
Swanepoel has been an instrumental figure in the Vodacom Bulls team this season – both in the Carling Currie Cup, where he has featured as one of the frontline players, and in the Vodacom URC, where he has often provided cover for the evergreen duo of Ruan Nortje and Walt Steenkamp.
He will once again prove to be a crucial cog in the Blue Machine forwards pack when they take on their Jukskei rivals.
The Vodacom Bulls will name their team for the match on Friday.
The match will kick-off at 17h00 on Saturday and it will be televised on SuperSport.