Hattrick hero Gelant focussed building Bulls' championship credentials
JOHANNESBURG - Springbok and Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant is the talk of the country after his hat-trick of tries against the Sharks on Saturday and a shoe in to be the national team’s starting fullback in the series against England in June.
But the softly spoken and well-mannered 22-year-old Gelant is not thinking that far and instead is hell-bent on replicating the masterclass performance in the Bulls upcoming encounter against the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.
Gelant is just pleased to finally be back in form and contributing to his beloved Bulls team as they continue to climb the Super Rugby log and are starting to look as formidable side as any of the title contenders.
“It was a nice feeling to score once again and contribute to the team and for the win as well. Some people call it my home ground, it was a wonderful feeling. Back to back three tries was just a wonderful feeling,” Gelant said about his second consecutive hat-trick at King’s Park, with the first having come during the Currie Cup last year.
“We are in a building phase and what we mean by that is we have standards that we have set ourselves and we want to match that and even go higher. The building phase is not about us wanting to win the championship in a year or two but it’s for us to get better every day and in every match.
"The Rebels are a great team and it is another challenge for us and that is what excites us. We are second on the log now and we want to keep on building. It is not something that we look to, we just want to be a championship team and that is what we are chasing.”
The Bulls heroics in recent weeks which have seen them secure two crucial victories against the Stormers and Sharks has not only heightened expectations amongst the Loftus faithful but it has also affirmed the obvious about Gelant being the best number 15 in the land.
In the two Tests that Gelant played in during last year’s end-of-year tour, the former Hoerskool Outeniqua pupil was started out of position on the wing and never got to showcase his talents on the international stage.
However, the rise of the Bulls has also coincided with his return to form with Gelant showing that he is not only a lethal attacking weapon but an equally good defender and a player that can kick with both feet, something that new Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus would have been thoroughly impressed by.
“I’ve been struggling with form and for me it was just great to be back and contribute to the team. First of all if the primary job is right that will sort itself out at national level,” said Gelant, who is ever so reluctant to speak of deserving the Springbok jersey.
“I always chase standards and I want to be the complete player. There’s great fullbacks out there that have done it all and I’m just chasing that. I just want to be the complete player for the team,” added Gelant, who cites former Springbok fullbacks Zane Kirchner and Percy Montgomery as his idols along with All Blacks Mils Muliaina, Ben Smith and Israel Dagg.
"I'm blessed and I thank God for every day for everything that happens for me." pic.twitter.com/KQejETCYOJ— Warrick Gelant (@WarrickGelant) April 15, 2018