‘Sometimes you’ve got to win ugly as well’

By Ashfak Mohamed 18m in the past

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CAPE TOWN – Neutral observers could regard the truth that the Bulls almost misplaced to Griquas on Saturday evening as a sign that they don’t seem to be as good as their efficiency in a warm-up recreation in opposition to the Sharks steered.

Instead, for Bulls director of rugby Jake White, the come-from-behind 30-23 Super Rugby Unlocked victory at Loftus Versfeld displayed “good character” from his new workforce.

When Griquas took an early 10-0 lead after which went 18-10 forward within the second half, White would have been anxious within the teaching field. After the Bulls thrashed the Sharks 49-28 with an exhilarating show on SuperFan Saturday two weeks in the past, he would have anticipated the Bulls to dispatch the Kimberley outfit fairly simply.

Instead, the Bulls huffed and puffed, however simply couldn’t get their recreation going as Scott Mathie’s Griquas have been dedicated in defence and took the few scoring possibilities that got here their approach.

Referee Marius van der Westhuizen’s whistle was additionally distinguished on the breakdowns, which aided the guests as the match grew to become considerably of a stop-start affair.

But finally, captain Arno Botha and his bunch of Bulls pulled themselves collectively to eke out a optimistic end result.

“I must say it was good character by our team, considering we were 10-0 down after 35 minutes as well. All of a sudden, we went into the change room at 10-all. I must say it was a good character test for us, and I think people expected it to be a lot easier than what it ended up, and you’ve got to give credit to Griquas,” White stated on the post-match press convention.

David Kriel of the Bulls and Nqobiszwe Mxoli of the Griquas in motion through the Super Rugby Unlocked match at Loftus Versfeld on October 10, 2020. Photo: Lee Warren/BackpagePix

“I thought the way that they played, the way they stopped our momentum, the way that they chased – a lot of fighting spirit. Credit to them.

“What I think was important there is that we almost played from side to side. Once we played a more direct style – when we put the ball under our arms amongst the forwards – Jason (Jenkins) was through, Elrigh Louw was through, and Marco van Staden also once or twice (ran hard) with the ball.

“So, I think we thought we would just, with ball-in-hand, play from touchline to touchline. It wasn’t a case of changing our approach, but we just realised that we needed to be a bit more direct in our structure.

“But all credit to them. They defended well – Marco was held up over the line, Cornal (Hendricks) dropped the ball over the line… There were a few chances early in the game as well. A maul or two there in the corner, Corniel Els was stopped just short of the line.

“I will say that I was really happy with the way they came back. We were 18-10 down, 10-0 down after 35 minutes, and then they came back and they showed exactly that they can win games.

“It’s not always going to be easy – sometimes you’ve got to win ugly as well.”

Former Bulls and Sharks scrumhalf Mathie was happy with the development his Griquas aspect have been in a position to obtain following two consecutive warm-up defeats to the Cheetahs, however the coach knew that they may’ve received at Loftus for the second yr in a row.

“I think our game management wasn’t good enough. We spent too much of our time in our own half, and we didn’t exit as well as we should have. Just before halftime, we needed to control that scrum and make sure we went into the second half with the lead, and we didn’t do that,” he stated.

“They made it more difficult for us, and it’s just small moments like that – game-management moments, which we need to identify and be able to have clear heads in those times, and understand and eliminate those risks.

“To get up again after conceding a try like that, and go again and get to 18-10 just shows the character in this team, which I am really proud of.

“In the last 20, the Bulls bench had a bit of dominance in the scrum, and it helped them with some penalties. We’ve just got to work a bit better off the bench to make that impact.”

The solely main harm concern was within the Bulls camp, with alternative prop Lizo Gqoboka leaving the sphere with the identical calf drawback that sidelined him for the Springbok Showdown final week.

“Lizo’s calf is a bit stiff. So, hopefully it’s the same injury and not too serious, but he just felt in those two scrums that he was on, that his calf was a bit sore – I won’t say torn, but he just felt that he had the same injury that he had before,” stated White.

The Bulls subsequent face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday (7pm), whereas Griquas will tackle the Pumas in Kimberley on Saturday (4.30pm).


Bulls 30

Tries: Ruan Nortje, Penalty Try, Arno Botha.

Conversions: Morné Steyn (2). Penalties: Steyn (3).

Griquas 23

Tries: James Verity-Amm (2), Anthony Volmink.

Conversions: George Whitehead (1). Penalties: Whitehead (2).



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