Nizaam Carr said the Vodacom Bulls are excited to defend their home turf against the Sharks when the teams clash in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls host the Sharks in round 7 of the Vodacom URC at Loftus Versfeld, after Jake White’s charges climbed to third on the standings with victory against Connacht last week, while the Durbanites beat the Dragons at Kings Park for their first win of the season.
It is a first derby of 2023-24 for The Herd, and Carr insisted that the SA Shield front-runners are up for the challenge posed by the Sharks, with conditions on the Highveld in the hosts’ favour.
Speaking in a Bulls conference on Tuesday, the veteran loose forward told reporters: “Jake said to us we have been going well, the pressure shouldn’t be on us. If we go out and execute our plans and enjoy our rugby, then things will go well for us.
“Yes, we’re playing at home and people expect us to win … a big thing for us, being up north, there’s a lot of factors that we take as a positive where other teams will struggle and we should capitalise on that.
“Teams are wary of when they come play at Loftus, it is a tough place to play, and I guarantee you that every team and every player wants to beat the Bulls.
“It’s a lot of pride and ego, and you just want that bragging rights after a couple of games against SA sides … you want to be the best in SA, and that’s where we want to head to.”
Thriving as a linkman on attack, Carr has scored one try from two starts in six URC matches this season, and captained an overhauled Bulls side to victory against Cardiff in Wales.
“We’ve got a young side but we’ve got a lot more experience from when we first started with Jake in 2020-21, so a lot of players have grown,” he added.
“We’ve definitely got noticeably more Springboks and whoever steps in is doing a wonderful job. Whoever the captain’s armband is given to, they know what is expected of them.
“The nice thing with Jake, it’s a collective effort where one guy will do the attack, we have a defensive leader, a breakdown leader in Marco van Staden; it’s not everything coming from you.
“Like Reinhardt Ludwig, if he captains the team he has the support system that Jake has put in place, and that makes it easier for us to step on the field and focus on the referee if the decisions are maybe going against us.
“You’ve got that whole department to help you and it was no different against Cardiff, and it was easy having quality players around me.”
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