While his ultimate goal is to earn a Springbok call-up, fullback Warrick Gelant is looking forward to preparing for an exciting 2018 season at the Bulls.
The Bulls fell at the semi-final hurdle during the 2017 Currie Cup campaign. While they will be disappointed about missing out on the domestic title-decider, most South African fans took note of their improved attacking game under the guidance of new director of rugby John Mitchell.
In their last three matches in the Currie Cup, the players from Pretoria scored 18 tries as they displayed an attractive brand of rugby with ball in hand.
Warrick Gelant, who has been a star feature at fullback, said there’s plenty of positivity within the squad as they aim to build on these performances going into Super Rugby off-season and pre-season preparations.
“There was a stage where the Bulls were going through a bad period. That’s when the players started focusing on their individual game and not as a team. And when that happens, the players struggle to gel on the field,” Gelant told MyPlayers.
“When John joined the Bulls, his big focus was getting us to play as a team. And once we started improving as a group, that’s when we started getting better results.
“We are also encouraged to keep more ball in hand. We realised that we put our opposition under pressure when we attack with great intent. So when we run the ball or kick the ball, our aim is to put the opposing players under pressure, giving ourselves the upper hand.
“We were disappointed to lose in the semi-finals, but there’s definitely a lot of excitement among the players ahead of Super Rugby, especially with a few more players coming back from Japan and Springbok commitments.”
Personally, Gelant is happy with his current form and hopes to continue improving in the coming weeks and months. He’s currently the top try-scorer in this year’s Currie Cup with 10 tries – only WP’s Seabelo Senatla (nine tries) and the Sharks’ Sbu Nkosi (eight tries) can surpass him when they play in the final this weekend.
“It will be the first year that I’m not injured going into a new season. I’ll be focused on staying fit and improving my game ahead of Super Rugby,” said Gelant. “While there’s always room for improvement, I was very happy with my performances during the Currie Cup. And I want to build on that form and momentum going into the new season.”
Many in the South African rugby fraternity have called for Gelant’s inclusion for the Springboks’ 2017 end-of-year tour to Europe. The 22-year-old said it would be an honour to have the opportunity to join the national senior squad.
“I’ve represented South Africa at every other level… SA Schools, SA U20, Springbok Sevens and SA ‘A’… so my goal is to make the step-up to the Springbok squad one day,” said Gelant. “If it doesn’t happen this year, I will focus on the process. I want to make sure I stay in form going into the 2018 season, give the Bulls my best to do well in Super Rugby and hopefully the rewards will follow.”
By Gareth Duncan