Johannesburg – It was just under a year ago that the Bulls perished miserably in Galway at the hands of Connacht, but Elrigh Louw has warned the Irishmen that the boot will be on the other foot at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
That match was right at the beginning of South Africa’s United Rugby Championship challenge last October and not only were the callow Bulls learning the ropes of the competition, notably the refereeing, but they also discovered how foul the weather can be in gusty Galway.
“All around it was not a good evening,” Louw reflected on the 34-7 defeat. “But they are coming to our territory now and let’s see how they perform in the heat and at altitude.
“We are definitely looking forward to a rematch,” the young Springbok loose forward added with a grin.
Last week, the Bulls had a narrow squeak 33-31 win against an Edinburgh team that tried to slow the game down at every turn in an attempt to combat the foreign conditions of Pretoria, and they very nearly snuck the spoils.
“It is tough here at altitude and in the sun,” Louw said of the time-wasting tactics of the Scots, “but we were our own worst enemies by letting them in by giving away penalties and making silly errors, and there was some luck with the ball bouncing off the crossbar for them to score…
“So discipline, the set piece, and defence are our focus points for the Connacht match,” Louw added. “They are a dangerous side in that they play direct rugby but can also work you from sideline to sideline. But we are looking forward to it … We want to make things right.”
The 23-year-old now has three Bok caps to his name, and he says he returns to the Bulls inspired to make the Cup squad next year by playing good rugby for them.
“It is awesome to be back and playing at Loftus again with my old mates,” Louw said. “You learn so much at the Boks both from the experienced players and the coaching staff. You are surrounded by over a thousand Test caps of experience and then when you get on the field, you find you learn so much more than you could ever learn on paper, so it was an awesome experience.
“Being there at the Boks gives you so much motivation to stay there, and next year is a Cup year, so I am hugely motivated to get onto the field and give it my all.”