United Rugby Championship: Victor Matfield expects Loftus Versfeld to power Bulls into the semi-finals

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Bulls legend Victor Matfield believes his former side has what it takes to triumph over local rivals the Sharks in their United Rugby Championship quarter-final at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The two teams were only separated by one point at the end of the regular season, with the Bulls finishing in fourth place and the Sharks in fifth.

Loftus the fortress

Despite the slightest difference on the table, Matfield believes Loftus will play a significant role as Jake White’s men have worked hard to turn their Pretoria base into a fortress in recent times.

“Loftus will definitely make a big difference. I think it is a different game when you go to Durban — we all know about the humidity there, which makes it difficult to play there and the kicking game is different,” he told Times Live.

“The Bulls know how to play at Loftus and have a good record there over the last two to three years.”

The former second-row who captained the Bulls to two Super Rugby titles says the Pretoria-based outfit have more tactical nous when finding ways to win games, which will be a massive benefit on Saturday.

“The Bulls are a better-coached team at the moment, they know how they want to play, they know how they want to win games and because of that I think they have the upper hand at Loftus,” he explained.

The winners of the clash will likely face Leinster in the semi-finals, who are expected to cruise past Glasgow Warriors, and Matfield is throwing everything behind “knockout specialists” the Bulls.

“They [the Bulls] have only been knockout specialists in local competitions but they are favourites against the Sharks even though it is going to be it is going to be very difficult,” he said.

“Once they go over to Europe, maybe for a semi-final, it is going to be more difficult against a team like Leinster. Teams that want to beat Leinster will have to be at their best. If there are two teams that can do it I believe it is the Bulls and the Stormers.”

READ MORE: United Rugby Championship: Stephen Larkham wants Munster to stick to their guns against Ulster

 

The article United Rugby Championship: Victor Matfield expects Loftus Versfeld to power Bulls into the semi-finals appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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