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Ken Borland


Bulls still have belief despite period of introspection after successive defeats

Posted on January 06, 2023 by Ken

The Bulls are obviously going though a period of introspection after successive losses on tour but the belief of the team is still there according to backline player David Kriel and technical analyst John-William Meyer.

The Bulls not only lost 35-21 to Glasgow Warriors and 31-17 to Munster, but played poorly on both occasions, the lack of intensity in their performance being particularly concerning. They now face a tricky match against Benetton in Treviso on Friday night.

“It’s been a time of self-reflection for us and we’re asking ourselves how physical we were, are we satisfied with our individual performances?” Kriel said.

“We are obviously a much better team than we showed these last couple of weeks, but we’re getting scars in terms of where the tour is going.

“That’s enough motivation on its own to end on a high note against Benetton this weekend,” Kriel, one of the few players to shine for the Bulls last weekend against Munster, said.

“In terms of morale, the group trust the process and it’s the players that enforce that,” Meyer said. “They come up with plans X, Y and Z, and there’s been no need for management to intervene.

“The players are all still positive and they believe in what they are doing. But we ask questions like ‘Did we execute our plan?’, ‘how many opportunities were there and why weren’t they taken?’” Meyer said.

The good news for the Bulls is that their match against Benetton will not be played on a 4G pitch but on normal grass, and the heat in Italy will make a welcome change to the wet and cold of the United Kingdom.

But Benetton still play at a cracking pace, Meyer saying they have the second-fastest game in the United Rugby Championship, behind log-leaders Leinster.

“Benetton are also very physical and good on defence, knocking you back,” Meyer added. “Their kicking game will definitely be a challenge as they try to expose the space behind us.

“They also have a lot of variety on attack and we’ve seen some sneaky moves inside the 22 which we have not seen before.

“What will also put our defence under pressure is when we kick inaccurately, that puts your defensive structure under huge pressure,” Meyer said.

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