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Ken Borland


Jake delighted by Carr’s man-of-the-match return to the Bulls

Posted on February 28, 2023 by Ken

Coach Jake White was not only delighted by Nizaam Carr’s man-of-the-match return to the Bulls team because of the way it led them to a convincing 43-26 victory in their United Rugby Championship match against Ospreys, but also for the relief it brought after a very difficult time for the Springbok flanker and his wife and family.

Carr left the Bulls last year to rejoin Wasps, but the English club went into administration last month and the 31-year-old former Stormers star suffered the trauma of suddenly being without a job. But then the Bulls allowed him to be one of the dozen Wasps players who have found new clubs when they offered him a contract through to June 2024.

Carr has previously expressed his gratitude to White and Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone for coming to his rescue, and he rewarded their faith with an outstanding display against Ospreys, linking superbly with the backline on attack.

“I’m very happy for Nizaam after what happened at Wasps. He has told us he is very thankful to be here and said he would repay us on the field, and what better way to do that by being man of the match in his first game back?” White said.

“The way Nizaam was running in the backline with Harold Vorster and Lionel Mapoe, linking on the outside, was great. That’s why I sign these older players, guys who’ve got experience, who have played SuperRugby before.”

Apart from some soft moments in defence that did mar the win and the way the Bulls went off the boil in the second half, after leading 31-14 at the break, White was very pleased with the display. He said some of the second-half struggles were down to him bringing on the bench early, but then he did not want to sell the replacements short in terms of game-time.

“We played really well in the first half and we should’ve scored quickly again in the second half. But instead we allowed them to get more confidence,” White said.

“We were a bit soft on defence, but then attack has been our focus, we love having the ball. But we need the same intensity, energy and excitement in defence. We need to catch them at halfway rather than five metres from our line.

“But I made some substitutions and we lost some rhythm, but I wanted to give the guys on the bench decent game-time. If you’re not going to bring guys on when you’re 31-14 up, then when are you?

“We were far ahead and it would not have been fair to not give the subs a decent run. But we lost a bit of cohesion and we didn’t gel as much as we did in the first half,” White said.

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