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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Bulls will use Sharks clash to sharpen defence, says winger De Klerk

"In most of the games, we defended exceptionally well but there are games where we slipped a bit."

Outside back Sebastian de Klerk has revealed that the Bulls have been putting a lot of work into their defensive system as they prepare for the knockout stages of the United Rugby Championship.

Ahead of the final round of the URC regular season, where they will take on the Sharks on Saturday at Durban’s Kings Park Stadium (kick-off 4.10pm), the Bulls go into the game knowing they have secured their place in the last eight.

The side from the capital city are currently in second place with 61 points on the URC points table and are guaranteed to finish in the top four, which means they will host a home quarter-final next weekend.  

But, with the knockout stages around the corner, teams are working on fine-tuning game aspects they have lacked. And for all their attacking brilliance, the Bulls have been below par defensively this season, especially in the latter stages of games.

Defence has ‘slipped a bit’

The Bulls will use their clash against the Sharks to test their defence before the playoffs.

“There’s a lot of attention on the defence at the moment,” said De Klerk.

“I think our defensive coaches have been working hard, and they have been the whole season. In most of the games, we defended exceptionally well but there are games where we slipped a bit.

“We have definitely worked on it; I don’t think it was like our defence was now in trouble or that we should panic. We worked on the things we did wrong and the things we can do better.

“I believe in the Sharks game, there will be a much better performance in the defence.”

Growth as a player

On a personal level, the former Pumas star said his overall game had improved greatly since he joined the Bulls at the beginning of the season.

“I have grown a lot in all aspects,” said De Klerk. “The URC is a lot different from the Currie Cup, where I was used to playing. There’s a lot more detail, there’s a big kicking game, and a higher standard.

“I love being able to do the work and hopefully everything will come together again on Saturday.”

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