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Ken Borland

Bulls house in order & campaign back on track – Jake

Posted on January 24, 2023 by Ken

Following their impressive victory over the Sharks in their United Rugby Championship derby at the weekend, the Bulls house is in order and the campaign is back on track, coach Jake White says.

The 40-27, bonus point win over the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld was the Bulls’ second in a row after a couple of defeats on tour, and it lifted them back into third place on the log.

“It’s a tough competition and we’ve toured and had a couple of injury problems, but we’ve done well the last couple of weeks,” White said. “The campaign is back on track.

“We’ve played seven games, we’ve got five wins, scored lots of tries, got a handful of bonus points and we’re third on the log. That’s fantastic for us, one-third of the way into the competition.

“And there’s no reason we can’t get better, with 14 games left until the final. Hopefully it’s a well-timed break for the players now, and we come back on November 9.

“Then we’ll switch on for two home games and wait and see who we get back from the national squads,” White said.

The coach did admit to some frustration at the Bulls’ performance against the Sharks, however, with the home side sometimes their own worst enemy.

“At times we shot ourselves in the foot. We couldn’t get out of our half and we had two kicks direct into touch. We were outstanding in the first 20 minutes but just didn’t finish,” White said.

“We knocked on in their 22 twice and chose the wrong lineout play once. We should have stayed with the maul, they had two warnings, but we moved away from the maul when the Sharks probably would’ve got a card.

“So there are a lot of things still to look at, we let them score three tries after all. We can’t give teams those soft moments like we did just before halftime.

“We practised defending against that Aphelele Fassi move the whole week, but he scored anyway because we get narrow.

“But when they led 17-16, no-one was thinking about a bonus point win, so there is a lot of excitement and energy in the changeroom. Now it’s time to recharge and it will be nice to have that same energy when we come back from the break,” White said.

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