Much has been made of the Bulls' strength when playing at Loftus Versfeld and Victor Matfield is hopeful their good run will continue.
Much has been made of the Bulls' strength when playing at Loftus Versfeld and Victor Matfield is hopeful their good run will continue when they face the Brumbies on Saturday their Super Rugby semi-final.
The Bulls are yet to lose on home soil this season and only suffered one defeat at Loftus during their 2012 campaign.
The stadium and the feverish supporters that populate it certainly create an imposing atmosphere, but while this may seem impressive, it's not something the Bulls can rely on against the Brumbies, a team that was only subdued 38-34 in Pretoria last year.
“We've said the entire year that the Brumbies are a good team,” Matfield told Supersport. “They ended third on the log and above the Crusaders, but at the end of the day if you want to win this competition you need to be able to beat everyone in it.
“What is important for us is that this is a home semifinal – It is at Loftus and we have worked hard to get here, and now we need to make it count in our favour.”
The Bulls head into the match having enjoyed a one week break after ending pool play with a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Stormers. Bye weeks have often done teams more harm than good and it is this that concerns Matfield more than their defeat in Cape Town.
“I'm not so worried about the Stormers game,” he explained. “What is important to us is that we have a home semifinal and we haven't lost this year at Loftus Versfeld. It is always great to play here. If you look at last year as well, after the break for the test matches in June, it does take a while to get your momentum back as a team. Hopefully things will click into place this week.
“The week off has been good to us. After two local derbies, we had a lot of guys who were very sore. In the week after the Sharks, we could see some of the guys weren't at 100%. This week everyone is fit and ready and we can have a good week in preparing for the game.”