So bafflingly error-prone have Pine Pienaar’s, right, men been for most of this campaign that opposition could’ve been forgiven for paying less attention to any of their bravado.
But in a tournament where the stakes change weekly, a superb 52-10 triumph over Griquas last week has instilled new confidence in a youthful group that embraced a call to relax more and have bigger faith in their talents.
It’s a mix that can prove lethal in the hands of fearless rookies and there was one particular line from Pienaar that exemplified the liberation of the Bulls’ psyches.
“They are the log leaders so naturally we need to deliver a massive performance, but from now I want us to make sure that the soft moments we’ve worked on eliminating are now turned into chasing big moments,” he said.
It’s not an insignificant mindshift – it suggests the hosts are now comfortable enough to back and impose themselves on on the field, instead of actively dragging themselves down by solely focusing on minimising mistakes.
“No-one else has been able to put that kind of score on Griquas this year so we’ll have to be at our best,” said Sharks co-coach Sean Everitt.
Not that they’ll need to stress given their charges’ fine form at the moment.