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Ken Borland

An age since Munster made such a poor start, but Bulls off worst show in long time

Posted on December 27, 2022 by Ken

It’s been an absolute age since Munster made such a poor start to their season, but the Bulls also produced their worst performance in a long time last weekend, so their United Rugby Championship clash at Thomond Park on Saturday night is going to be a tense affair.

Munster are currently a lowly 12th in the URC standings, having lost three of their four games. They have never finished outside the top-10 of the competition in all its previous guises.

The Bulls were hammered 35-21 by Glasgow Warriors last weekend, their first loss this season.

“Munster have not had the best start,” Bulls backline coach Chris Rossouw acknowledged on Tuesday, “but they still have very good players. Plus their Ireland A players will be back from South Africa.

“They have a very good record in Limerick and halfbacks Conor Murray and Ben Healy control the game very well.

“Damian de Allende is a big departure, he is sorely missed by them, you can see that already. But they play the same way as last year with a strong forward pack,” Rossouw said.

The Bulls have also obviously not been at their best, but may well be boosted by the international-class services of flyhalf Johan Goosen and wing Sbu Nkosi this weekend.

Rossouw spoke of the need for them to be able to adapt better to setbacks in the heat of the moment, which is not always easy to do for a young side.

“It was obviously a big disappointment against Glasgow, but if you’re off your game then you will obviously get big points against you, like in Super Rugby. We did not get things right and got a big hiding,” Rossouw said.

“What was frustrating was that we just could not convert. Our maul got disrupted and, although we’re not meant to say it, probably illegally. They also attacked us at the breakdown.

“We’ve cleared up some issues with the referee and we need to do things differently in the maul and sharpen up at the rucks. You can’t have that many opportunities and not convert.

“In the heat of the moment, you need that ability to adapt and make plans. We try and incorporate that into our training, constantly trying to find a different way and how to vary our play,” Rossouw said.

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