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Ken Borland

Bulls take deep into the 2nd half to rout boisterous Zebre

Posted on April 04, 2022 by Ken

It took deep into the second half before the Bulls were able to finally rout a boisterous Zebre Parma side 45-7 in their United Rugby Championship match at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi at the weekend and coach Jake White admitted that his team had suffered from a bit of over-eagerness in the first half.

Several chances went abegging in the first half and it was only thanks to two tries in the last 10 minutes of the first half that the Bulls went into the break 17-7 up.

“In the first 25 minutes we had to find our feet, so we scored 45 points in the last 55 minutes,” White said. “At the beginning there were a few chances we did not finish, but I’m generally quite happy with the way we played.

“It’s not that easy to come here to Parma, not even Munster managed to score more than 34 points here in January and they are one of the great European sides.

“Zebre had also only lost three players to their national side and were relatively unchanged. So there are a lot of positives for us, especially the five points that means we stay in the competition, but we will keep our feet on the ground.

“You’ve got to earn the right to go wide, we went too quickly a couple of times and there were knock-ons. As soon as you become more direct then you create the space out wide,” White said.

While White questioned the small number of times his team was awarded penalties for Zebre being offsides, he did say he was pleased with the tempo of the game allowed by referee Adam Jones.

“The offsides maybe could have been policed better, Zebre would shoot off the line and we got caught a bit, they were coming at us the whole time,” White said.

“But I was very happy with the pace of the game, the tempo was what we need in the URC for us to compete. It was a significant difference to what we’ve been getting at home.

“There was pace on the ball, a much higher ball-in-play time, and that allowed us to keep putting them under pressure with wave-after-wave of attack. The referee managed that well.

“We want to attack, you need to score tries when you’re playing in a whole year long competition. You have to back yourself to put points on the board. To score 45 away from home is the outcome we wanted,” White said.

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