The Vodacom Bulls are expecting a physical battle when they meet the DHL Stormers in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final in Cape Town on Saturday.
With years of experience behind him and plenty of battles against their coastal rivals, nobody would know this better than Vodacom Bulls vice-captain and loose-forward, Arno Botha.
Speaking ahead of the crucial match at the Cape Town Stadium, the 30-year-old Botha indicated that they were expecting a big forwards battle which he and his charges have been preparing for ahead of the first-ever Vodacom URC final.
“We know what they (DHL Stormers) are going to bring. They want to make it physical up front and they have the forwards to do that,” said the influential loose-forward.
“So, it’s (the physicality) definitely something we will look into and try and capitalise on. We also have good and dominant forwards and it is a strong point for us.”
Botha will be one of the more experienced heads when they take to the field on Saturday night, and he certainly hopes that the Vodacom Bulls’ recent success in the two years since his return to Loftus Versfeld, which includes two back-to-back Carling Currie Cup titles and the Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked trophy, will add a bit of motivation for the side as they target the new Vodacom URC trophy as well.
“It (recent success) is definitely something I am proud of. I couldn’t have hoped for a better two years with the Bulls,” he said.
“I can’t think of a union I would have had a better time with, in terms of family and lifestyle as well.”
Botha also added that it was important for the team to be mentally ready for the task that lies ahead going into the final.
“There is always a few small things that you can work on or look at that you haven’t looked at for the whole season. Not necessarily always skill-wise, but definitely mentally,” said Botha.
“It’s not a scale-down in terms of training, but it is a bit more calm. It’s about boxing smart. We won’t be needing to make a 180-degree turn on plays or on defence. If we have been doing it and getting it right, then we will be fine. We are calm and know what we need to do.”
The Vodacom Bulls will name their team to play in the Vodacom URC final on Friday.
The match will kick-off at 19h30 and it will be televised on SuperSport.