Now the team’s scrum consultant, Botha warned against the expectation that has been created by their three convincing wins in the Currie Cup, saying it will take time before this team is the finished product.
The 33-year-old Botha does get the feeling though that the current team has the feel of the legends of 2002 to 2010, but says the responsibility lies with the players to drive the union to achieving the same, if not better results than the teams led by Victor Matfield.
While the expectation is there that Bulls coach Nollis Marais and his young starlets are on the path of greatness, Botha is of the opinion that it is up to the players to drive the success of the team going forward.
“Rugby changes on a daily basis and the biggest thing is to try identify the right characters at the right time and getting them to gel as quickly as possible and that is the blueprint I experienced in my playing days.
“That is the feeling I’m starting to get here but there is still a lot of work to be done and there is still a long way to go. It has to be player-driven and if the players make that decision you never know what can happen in the future.”
Botha also knows that the Bulls will no doubt stumble at times along the way but says the most important lesson is that they learn from their shortcomings and apply it in their next game.
“It is pretty much situational ... we are taking it game by game. We know that regardless of if we are ahead going into the second round it’s week by week and on a Monday we go back to zero. That’s the biggest thing and the kind of attitude we want to implement. We know it is a fallacy to think that we can win all our games.
“We can’t always be strong but it is about how quickly the players learn from that, apply the lessons learnt and get over it.”
The Bulls have now turned their focus to Griquas, a team that they blew away in 20 minutes two weeks ago but more importantly they will again need to replicate and improve on their performances thus far this season.
“Griquas are always strong in Kimberley and it is always a tough match because if you don’t execute well you will be in trouble. They will be targeting a lot of our moves and stuff because they pretty much know what to expect after playing them recently.
“We believe in what we do regardless of how long it takes us to implement it during game time. We must go to Kimberley and focus on our own stuff; it’s a process and we know that it won’t be easy,” concluded Botha.
Meanwhile, Godlen Masimla probably thought he wasn’t going to feature for Western Province in the Currie Cup this year.
Ahead of him in the queue for the WP No9 jersey is a Springbok and two players who have been stalwarts for the Stormers over the last few years. But after persevering on the training field, and a little bit of good fortunate, the talented scrumhalf will finally make his Currie Cup debut for Western Province against the Cheetahs on Friday.
The Wellington-born scrum-half was set move onto the bench for this match, because of Nic Groom’s involvement with the Barbarians this weekend.
However, he will start the match in Bloemfontein after Bok scrumhalf Jano Vermaak was also ruled out with a finger injury. - The Star
Original source: Bulls’ future looking bright