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Ken Borland

Bulls youngsters have a lot on their plates, but Uys says there is clarity

Posted on June 28, 2022 by Ken

There’s a lot to think about for the young players at Loftus Versfeld these days: Trying to win the United Rugby Championship and the Currie Cup at the same time, and then next year having the European Champions Cup as another add-on to their plate.

And for an exciting prospect like loose forward Muller Uys, who also played club rugby for Tuks last weekend, there is the added pressure of trying to nail down a place in the Bulls URC squad.

The 23-year-old Uys will no doubt pack down at the back of the scrum for the Bulls on Friday night in their Currie Cup match against the Pumas, but with Cyle Brink injuring his knee against the Ospreys last weekend, there is likely to be a place in the match-day 23 for the following weekend’s quarterfinal against the Sharks.

Uys credits the set-up at Loftus for providing both clarity and motivation for all their players.

“When I get the chance, it’s my responsibility to show I am good enough to play URC,” Uys said on Tuesday. “I need to take ownership and show what I’m worth. There’s a clear plan and the players understand.

“In terms of training with the two squads, they make it easy for us to go from Currie Cup to URC, to slot into either side. The way we prepare, it’s 100% about the long-term and that will help a lot for next year.

“My career took a bit of a different turn with injury, but I must just take it day-by-day and keep learning. I must not think I’m too old or too good to learn. In a way I’ve started afresh.

“I played club rugby for Tuks last week, it was a nice way to get game-time, keep the skills sharp. It’s an opportunity to grow and learn because maybe there are things you haven’t seen there,” Uys said.

The Bulls Currie Cup side showed their ability when they totally dominated a URC-strength Lions team in their first half of their previous Currie Cup game, before sadly going off the boil in the second half. But the 43-37 win has nevertheless given them a timely confidence boost going into the last couple of rounds.

“We’ll carry a lot of confidence from that game because the Lions had a quality side and we manned up and really went well in the first half. There’s a lot of responsibility now for us to back up that performance,” Uys said.

“We matched up physically and did quite well against the Lions, we just had to manage the game better in the final 40 minutes, both with the ball and without ball-in-hand. The Pumas will not be much different to be honest,” assistant coach Hayden Groepes said.

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