Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
26 Apr 2022
5:00 pm

Bulls fans have been ‘phenomenal’ at Loftus, says captain Coetzee

Ken Borland

Skipper Marcell Coetzee says spectators have given the Bulls a significant lift in recent URC games at Loftus Versfeld.

Marcell Coetzee in action for the Bulls during their URC match against Benetton at Loftus last week. Picture: Gallo Images

The Saracens rugby club – the one in London with such strong South African connections – once famously organised a camel race as part of the entertainment before a match they were holding at Wembley Stadium, but venue officials refused to allow it for any number of bureaucratic reasons. Perhaps if they had staged a dromedary race it would have been okay.

The Bulls are hoping such drastic measures to attract a crowd to Loftus Versfeld are not necessary for their last home game of the United Rugby Championship regular season, against Glasgow Warriors on Friday night. Amidst the drama of trying to nail down both a URC playoff spot and a place in the lucrative European Champions Cup next season, Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee spoke on Tuesday of the lift spectators had given the team over the last few weeks.

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The skipper even dared to suggest the Bulls were going to embrace the pressure of two must-win games to end the round-robin phase.

“The last few weeks have really been must-win games and we’ve had phenomenal support at Loftus. The team has fed off that,” Coetzee said.

“We put ourselves into this position where we now have to fight for a playoff place, but we embrace it. At one stage we were bottom of the log, and the fightback just shows the quality and culture in our squad.

“Anything can still happen and Glasgow are a dangerous team. We’re not reading too much into their scoreline last weekend, but the Stormers showed how to break them down by being patient.”

Coetzee is only 30 years old, so the star loose forward is still far too young to be pensioned off when it comes to international aspirations, but he says his focus at the moment is forming a tight-knit unit with Elrigh Louw and Cyle Brink.

“At the moment I just want to plough back into the Bulls team, helping guys like Elrigh, and enjoy my rugby,” the skipper said.

“We have a very good loose trio group. It’s lovely to be here and have all those guys behind you. Cyle has come into the system very well too, although he struggles a bit with the Afrikaans!

“He has added a lot of value and is growing every game, and he also helps a lot at the breakdown, so we are all making each other better.”