Compliments may have flown thick and fast between Port Elizabeth and Pretoria this week, but hostilities will break out in voluminous quantities on Saturday.
Southern Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons was just as lavish with his flattery and praise of the Bulls, as rival Frans Ludeke was earlier in the week.
But the Kings boss also made it clear they will return the favour when the Bulls unleash their brutish game when the two sides go head-to-head in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
“I thought the Bulls were very impressive against the Cheetahs [last week],” Solomons told this website in an interview during the build-up to this much anticipated all-South African derby.
“They are a good team and they seem to have the bit between the teeth at the moment,” the Kings boss said, adding: “They have a good allround side, with good experience and we know we are going to be in for a massive battle.”
He spoke of having “massive respect” for the Bulls and said the Kings are looking forward to playing the Bulls in front of a sell-out crowd at home after their month-long Australasian tour.
While defence has been the hallmark of the Kings’ successes this season – a first-round win over the Western Force, a draw with the table-topping Brumbies and a win over the Rebels – Solomons feel his team will need to improve in other areas to upstage the Bulls.
“They key to this game is our ability to front up physically to what is going to be a very physical Bulls team,” he said, adding: “The physicality that they bring, we have to meet that challenge.
“We know the teams from the various countries are all different, but the South African sides are very, very physical – certainly more so than the Australian sides.
“The New Zealand sides are also physical, but they do play a different game.
“The South African sides are a direct, physical confrontation and that is epitomised by the Bulls.”
Article source: http://sport.iafrica.com/news/854472.html