Cape Town – With the Bulls having experienced snow during their last game in Lyon, and now facing more cold weather in Wales, loose forward Nizaam Carr was asked if he wouldn’t mind having one of his favourite Cape delicacies, boeber, right now.
“Yoh! Anything now from anywhere in South Africa that’s warm right now would be nice, because it’s bloody cold!” the experienced No 8 said with a chuckle about the warm milk-based sweet drink yesterday from a chilly Llanelli, where the Bulls will face the Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship (URC) on Friday night (9.35pm kick-off).
The 31-year-old would have experienced such conditions before, having spent a good few years at Wasps in England. But what would have made it tougher for the Springbok link-man was the fact he was captain of the side that lost 31-7 in the Champions Cup – although the Bulls still advanced to the Round of 16.
“We’ve got three or four boys who have had a lot of experience of playing overseas and here in Europe, including myself, so we have been giving some tips to the boys about how to prepare, what to do and how to do it,” Carr said.
“Unfortunately the result didn’t go our way last Friday, but we take the learnings and we move on.
“So, the weather is always going to play a part in the northern hemisphere. We are getting the worst of the weather this time of the year – it’s going to be tough for any team travelling up here.
“But I don’t like making excuses. You have to consider your game-plan when you play in weather like that, so whatever you do, we need to win – with the referee, with the weather on the day.”
Carr and the Bulls will be hoping for a much-improved performance against the Scarlets, considering they were victorious on a recent visit, when they beat the Dragons 29-14 in Newport.
Bulls scrum coach Werner Kruger confirmed yesterday that Bok stars Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie (rest), as well as veteran hooker Bismarck du Plessis (impending birth of a child), have returned to South Africa, while Joe van Zyl has joined the squad as hooker cover.
“We are carrying a lot of confidence. I know last week didn’t go our way, but one performance or situations like that don’t define us as a group,” Carr said.
“How we have grown over the three years, and going through a little bit of a rough patch, we are training with a lot of confidence.
“It was a difficult hurdle to overcome last week, but we are there again and excited about Friday night’s game.
“Yes, we are hurting and didn’t want to go down like that. But that is too small of a situation to kill our character and confidence in the team. We will out-brave that and come out firing this weekend.
“I wouldn’t say it’s (not touring well) a concern, but we have been talking about it. I can’t speak on behalf of the previous Bulls sides because I haven’t toured with them.
“But we did have a look at that and it’s something we are addressing. But that is not the case (that the Bulls are poor travellers) – the camaraderie between the boys when it comes to on-field and off-field things, we are really tight.
“It will turn around for us. We are working extremely hard and focusing on a lot of different things, different plans … How to tackle these things, the way we play. We are not going away from what we do best.
“A tour is a tough thing for everything. You have to start well in the first 20 minutes, as that is where teams try to get under your skin.
“There isn’t a lack of anything that we are doing differently to when we are at home.”