RUGBY-LIONS-REAX by Ockert de Villiers
JOHANNESBURG Oct 14 Sapa
BULLS STILL HAVE A LOT TO DO: POTGIETER
Blue Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter admitted his side snuck into the Currie Cup playoffs when they beat the Golden Lions 50-29 at Ellis Park on Saturday, after they were on the brink of finishing last on the log.
"Four weeks ago I just asked for a chance to be able to play in the playoff rugby and we've got it now," Potgieter said.
"I don't think we need to get too carried with this, we've got a game left.
"We did sneak in at the end and despite the fact that it was kind of a run-away win there is still a lot of work to do this week."
The Pretoria-based side set-up a semi-final clash against the Sharks in Durban next weekend after a ruthless second-half performance in Johannesburg.
The Bulls were inconsistent for most of the season, teetering between the last place and the top four, but they found their straps three weeks ago against the Free State Cheetahs.
The side's coach Pine Pienaar said while he was delighted with the victory he felt his charges still had much to improve on before next week's semi-final.
"The last three games we played really well despite the loss against the Sharks where I thought we played some good footy as well," Pienaar said.
"I'm just glad we gave ourselves the opportunity to maybe get into the final. So it is back to the drawing board."
The final round of the Currie Cup's league stage came to an emphatic climax as four teams were still in the running for a playoff position.
This year's competition saw only six teams battle out for semi-final spots which provided for some nailbiting encounters.
Potgieter, however, bemoaned the lack of support from the fans at the matches despite the quality rugby that was on display.
"I think in the last weekend any of the four teams could have still played relegation match next weekend," Potgieter said.
"It is sad that there hasn't been a lot of attendance.
"I've played in the last five Currie Cups and this has probably been the best that I've been involved in as far as week in and week out playing against strong teams."
Meanwhile, Lions interim coach Johan Ackermann was content with his side's performance against a star-studded Bulls outfit.
"We made some really funny mistakes in the last half of the game and there the score went away and it is not a true reflection of the game," Ackermann said.
Ackermann took a calculated risk by resting some of his key players in an effort to avoid injuries before their home semi-final match against Western Province next Saturday.
Despite his cautious approach Ackermann was left disappointed with in-form centre Lionel Mapoe and Deon van Rensburg picking up injuries.
"It was good to give guys some game time, the only disappointing thing is that we picked up some injuries and that is the one thing we didn't want," he said.