It’s been an age since the Bulls last won the Currie Cup, and longer still since Chris Rossouw played in his two finals, but the backline coach knows what it takes to win the famous trophy, having done it back-to-back with Western Province in 2000 and 2001.
The Bulls take on the Sharks in this season’s final at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday and are looking to claim South Africa’s premier domestic title for the first time since 2009 and their 24th crown overall.
“We all know in the final it comes down to experience and winning the big moments,” Rossouw said.
“And we have a good spine to manage those moments in Duane Vermeulen, Ivan van Zyl, Morne Steyn and Cornal Hendricks. At flyhalf Morne has seen it all, he’s played 66 Tests for the Springboks, he won the series against the British Lions in 2009 and he has won finals in France.
“It’s about keeping to the basic principles and Morne’s game-management is quite exceptional. As a young group we realise we have come a long way in a small space of time and we are in the process of building our brand. For the young guys to have that good spine around them is great and it is pleasing to see the team growing every week.”
As backline coach, Rossouw is well aware of the threat posed by the Sharks backs, who have been, along with the Bulls, the most consistently dangerous attacking unit.
“The Sharks have been the most consistent team in the last year, they have played unbelievably well, and a big part of that has been their backline,” Rossouw said.
“They have a good mix of experience and youngsters and a good academy feeding into their system. They can play the expansive game and they’re very good defensively.
“It’s nice to watch the Sharks backline playing … but a massive challenge to play against them.”