Cape Town — Sharks coach Robert du Preez says he is expecting a strong response from the Bulls when the sides meet in a crucial Super Rugby clash in Durban on Saturday.
While the Sharks returned to winning ways this past weekend with a largely comfortable 28-14 win over the Rebels at Kings Park, the Bulls came crashing back down to earth when they went down 56-20 to the Chiefs at Loftus.
The sides have both won three and lost two so far this season and the Sharks lead the Bulls by just two points in the South African Conference, and it all points towards Saturday's fixture in Durban being a brutal encounter.
When asked about facing the Bulls this weekend, Du Preez's response said it all.
"They will be facing us," he said in the post-match press conference after the Rebels win.
"The Bulls got quite a big hiding against the Chiefs so there will be a backlash. They are a proud team.
"If you want to be a force in this competition, you've got to win your home games. We've lost one against the Stormers and we don't want to lose again."
Du Preez added that the Bulls coming unstuck against the Chiefs was a firm reminder of the demands that come with Super Rugby.
"If you're off your game then anything can happen on the day. We saw that at Loftus (Bulls v Chiefs)," he said.
"You've got to be on top of your game week in and week out ... this competition is relentless."
The Bulls emerged as 37-14 winners against the Sharks when the sides met at Loftus back on March 9.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 15:05 .