New Bulls captain Pierre Spies expects the Cheetahs to throw everything but the kitchen sink at them when the two teams go head-to-head in a Super Rugby Round Two encounter in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The Bulls, despite starting their campaign win, remain wary of a team that has yet to beat them since they rejoined the Super Rugby scene after the demise of the Cats (Cheetahs and Lions) in 2005.
Spies, speaking to this website ahead of their trip to Bloemfontein, knows the Cheetahs will be determined to end their Super Rugby drought against their rivals from Pretoria.
"They will be hurting after the [25-27] loss to the Lions at the weekend," Spies said, adding: "They probably should have won that game.
"Also, after our pre-season game against them in Polokwane [won 39-16], I feel they will be much better prepared and that will make this a much tougher game."
Asked if the Bulls would change their tactics, given that the Cheetahs would have had a good chance to analyse the Bulls, Spies said they would only make "minor tweaks".
"You do have your [game] plan, and as we saw this past weekend there were mistakes in certain aspects [of our game]," Spies told this website.
"It is all about the execution on the day.
"It is never good to change too much."
The 26-year-old No.8, who took over the Bulls captaincy from retired legend Victor Matfield, said it was an "honour and a privilege" to lead the three-time Super Rugby champions.
"It felt almost like I was playing my first game at the weekend," he said of his first Super Rugby game as skipper - the 18-13 win over the Sharks last week.
"I felt a lot of excitement and nerves ... considering it was the first game and it was at home.
"A lot goes through your mind and you have plenty of emotion. I'm just happy we pulled off a win."
By Jan de Koning
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