Big Lions lock Andries Ferreira knows too well how to mix the expectations and demands of playing rugby at the highest level in the Super Rugby pressure cooker with properly winding down with the music of his choice.
Ferreira, at 1.97m and 117kg, and middle-row partner Franco Mostert will again be in the thick of things on Saturday as they battle the Highlanders for a place in this year’s final.
“I have a newly born at home so that takes my mind off the game,” said Ferreira, 26, when asked how he relaxes before a big match.
“When I get into my car and drive from Pretoria to Johannesburg I put on some music, play a couple of things, if something might happen on the field I played it through my mind,” he said.
“I’m not one to be stuck in the moment, exactly know what to do and play the roles out and maybe adapt to certain situations, basically I just chill and can’t wait to come to the stadium on match day,” he said.
Music is for him also instrumental in calming down before running out to the roars of the Ellis Park crowds.
“I listen to a variety of music, closer to the game I like to listen to something that’s pumping you up, maybe a bit of Afrikaans music like Brendan Peyper or Twee, but there’s quite a couple I like to listen to,” said Ferreira.
But on the field Ferreira is quite a handful to absorb and known as the grinder in the pack, while Mostert is excellent at making an large amount of tackles and cleaning out rucks and running the lineout.
“I’m really looking forward to it, I think we are a special side with a special management and I think come Saturday will be a special moment and we would definitely be ready to step up and do it again. I think this game will be a new start but we handled the pressure against the Crusaders very well and we never hit panic buttons,” he said.
“They were coming for us, but we just stuck to our structures and we got out of it someway or another, whether it was a crucial turnover from Jaco Kriel, or Warwick Tecklenburg making a great tackle, or a good scrum,” he said.
Ferreira also said they know as forwards they have to compete in order to put their dangerous backs into action.
“I don’t think the set-piece will be more important than any other game, every scrum and every lineout will be just as important as the rest of the season,” he said.
“It’s simple – without quality set-piece ball you can’t play and if we don’t hold our own there, we won’t be able to play,” he said.