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Ken Borland

Jake like an aeronautics expert wanting take-off at exactly the right time

Posted on June 06, 2022 by Ken

Like an aeronautics expert trying to ensure take-off happens at exactly the right time, Bulls director of rugby Jake White will be using the next two weekends of Currie Cup action to try and ensure his team peak at the business end of the United Rugby Championship.

The Bulls have already sealed a quarterfinal place in Europe, but their match against Ospreys in Swansea on May 20 could decide whether they will have crucial home ground advantage for that playoff match.

So basically White is looking for four straight wins in the URC to take the title. But his desire to win a hat-trick of Currie Cup crowns is also great, so he was quite happy on Friday to announce a Bulls team that is a half-and-half mix of URC and Currie Cup players for their match against Griquas on Saturday evening at Loftus Versfeld.

“It’s predominantly URC guys that I want to game-time to, but it’s a double-edged sword because we take the Currie Cup seriously as well,” White said.

“There will be another rotation next week for our match against the Golden Lions when we give some of these players the week off.

“But we can’t afford to give the URC guys two weeks off before such a vital game as the Ospreys one, it’s absolutely critical to try and get a home playoff. So it’s another hit-out for them.

“It’s an opportunity to try and get right the things we want to do at the back end of the URC and this team is the sort of ideal balance you’d want every week – seniors and youngsters playing together,” White said.

The Bulls have tended to concede the most points at the starts and deaths of games, and a team like Griquas can be lethal if you allow them a foothold in the game, so White said starting and finishing better is a work in progress for his team.

“We definitely want to start well. You work out along the way what works in terms of getting a good start – the warm-up order, your routine before the game or selection can all be factors.

“There’s no exact answer, but the more you get it wrong, the closer you are to getting it right. Once you find a formula that works, you lean on that. You try to find the right recipe, but sometimes it takes a while,” White said.

Bulls team: Canan Moodie, Stravino Jacobs, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Embrose Papier; WJ Steenkamp, Cyle Brink, Arno Botha, Reinhardt Ludwig, Walt Steenkamp, Robert Hunt, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Lizo Gqoboka. IMPACTSchalk Erasmus, Simphiwe Matanzima, Dylan Smith, Ruan Nortje, Muller Uys, Keagan Johannes, Juan Mostert, Stedman Gans.

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