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Ken Borland

Ulster discover how difficult a place Loftus has become to visit

Posted on May 03, 2022 by Ken

Loftus Versfeld is becoming a very difficult place to visit in the United Rugby Championship and, with the addition of more than 19 000 spectators at the weekend, it was too much for the quality Ulster side to handle as they were blown away 34-16 by the Bulls.

Coach Jake White made a point of thanking the spectators who were right behind a Bulls side who were in a destructive mood in the second half as they turned a 9-3 deficit around with four tries.

“Thank you to the 19 000 who came to the stadium, we like to play in front of our crowd. It was new pressure for me because imagine if we’d lost, but thankfully we won with a bonus point.

“Hopefully we will see more big numbers at our games in the coming weeks. It was unbelievable and there’s no question we played better with spectators behind us.

“It was like a genuine Test match and we were never going to run away with things in the first half, but to score four tries in the second half was fantastic.

“It was not the case that our play in the first half was not good, it was just that they strangled us. We had to find a way to get out of that and the message to the players was to just play, to not stand back,” White said.

While the Bulls produced some superb attacking play in the second half, White also praised the hard work done in defence and in the set-pieces for doing the groundwork for the impressive victory.

“The cornerstone of our game is good defence and set-pieces and if you get those right then you will win more games than you lose,” White said.

“Our defence was outstanding, we defended our like with all our worth, but we also scrummed well and in the lineout we had things like Ruan Nortje turning over an Ulster throw near our line.

“Our attack was very good too, we opened them up at times and Kurt-Lee Arendse was outstanding. We’ve got a good backline now and they showed that they understand how Ulster defend.

“It was hard and physical for our forwards, but jeez, our backs played well. Guys like Harold Vorster and Madosh Tambwe are playing phenomenal rugby,” White enthused.

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