Super 14 final: Bulls’ Matfield Speaks out

BULLS captain Victor Matfield believes the Chiefs pose a far greater threat to his team’s prospects of a second Super 14 title than the seven-time champion Crusaders did last week.


The Bulls and Chiefs go head-to-head in the 2009 final in Pretoria tomorrow, the 14th Super Rugby grand finale.

Despite their impressive, calm and composed performance in coming back from being 7-20 down — to eventually win 36-27 — in the semifinal against the Crusaders last week, Matfield believes the opposition at Loftus tomorrow brings something far more dangerous to the table.

“They certainly have more game-breakers,” Matfield said during a break from training.

“Just have a look at their team, they have a back three with blistering pace,” he said of players like captain and fullback Mils Muliaina.

On the right wing they have the most improved wing in New Zealand in Lelia Masaga and even though All Black star, left wing Sitiveni Sivivatu has been ruled out with injury, the Chiefs have more than adequate back-up.

Dwayne Sweeney, who can play on the wing and at centre, as well as Richard Kahui, back from injury, add to that impressive strike force.

But it is not just in the backs where Matfield feels they have an abundance of game-breakers.

“They also have some very big ball carriers,” the Bulls captain said, adding: “Up front they have big guys like (hooker Aled) De Malmanche and (No 8 Sione) Lauaki.

“I truly believe they have far more game-breakers than a team like the Crusaders,” Matfield said.

The Bulls captain also dismissed the notion that the Bulls’ 33-27 win over the Chiefs in their Round 11 league fixture last month will have a bearing on tomorrow’s showdown.

“I doubt that (game) will play any role,” he said.

“We will obviously go and look at what worked for us and what hasn’t worked, but this is a different and new game.

“This weekend it is a 50-50 game.

“It is all about, on the day, who use their opportunities, and build on that.” — rugby365.com.

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