The Border Bulldogs face their biggest test of the season when they take on the Down Touch Griffons in their Currie Cup First Division clash at the HT Pelatona Stadium in Welkom this afternoon.
It will most likely be the Bulldogs’ final game of the season for it would need an unlikely weekend of results for them to make it through to the playoffs.
The Bulldogs can expect a tough encounter against the competition’s defending champs – and only unbeaten side so far.
“We always said we wanted to end the season on a high, so that is what we will try to do against the Griffons,” Bulldogs coach David Dobela said. “I believe we have the players to do it and they will be fired up for the match.
“The Griffons are a good team, one of the best in the Currie Cup First Division, so to beat them would really be a statement.”
For the Bulldogs it has been a rebuilding campaign after they lost a host of players after last year’s first division competition.
They had enjoyed one of their best seasons of the past 10 years.
They started the first division in poor form, losing their first three matches in a row, including a thumping at home at the hands of the Boland Kavaliers.
That turned out to be the turning point and the Bulldogs beat the EP Kings away, just lost to second on the log Leopards at home, and beat the Welwitschias last weekend.
“Starting from the EP game we have played well. We only just lost to the Leopards and never gave up against the Welweitschias and got the win in the end, so it has been a great response after the poor start,” Dobela said.
“The guys have realised that they are the starting players now and they need to wave the Border flag high.
“They have been taking ownership of that and it has helped a lot.”
The Bulldogs will now be aiming to have a fairytale end to their campaign.
Twenty six players in total will be going up for the game as players in the extended squad will be joining as part of a team-building exercise.
“We decided to send a larger squad to help lift team morale and make sure everyone was included for our last game,” explained Dobela.
“It will be a bit of a team building thing for the guys and will make sure that we end off our season on a high note, regardless of the result.”