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Ken Borland



Bulls could call Van Staden back into service v Cardiff 0

Posted on February 28, 2023 by Ken

The Bulls could well call Springbok openside flank Marco van Staden back into service against Cardiff on Saturday night as they look to put more defensive pressure on the opposition, but changing the balance of their loose trio could also affect their attacking play, which was so impressive in the first half of last weekend’s match against the Ospreys.

With Nizaam Carr, wearing the No.6 jersey, linking superbly with the backline, the Bulls ran in seven tries. But they also conceded four and assistant coach Pine Pienaar said on Tuesday that they were looking at ways of putting more defensive pressure on Cardiff.

“In the first half against Ospreys, we made a really good start, but in the second half we lost a bit of momentum, we struggled to put pressure on them,” Pienaar said.

“So how we can still build pressure in the game, like we did in the first half, is something we’re really working on, doing it better in the second half, with or without the ball.

“We need to be able to see it out defensively if we’re in our half, create pressure and get the turnover. We’re definitely looking at defensively trying to build more pressure and then using the turnover ball.

“In the first half we defended well, we were good at the breakdown, we got turnover ball and we could attack. We need to get things balanced in terms of defence.

“It’s great to have Marco van Staden back, he’s been training today [Tuesday]. But we must also compliment Nizaam on a good outing, and Cyle Brink is back from injury.

“It’s nice to have these players back when Marcell Coetzee moved on and they made a statement. We’ve got the players to do the job,” Pienaar said.

Cardiff, as they showed in overwhelming the Sharks last weekend, will bring a mighty pack to Loftus Versfeld and Pienaar said the Bulls will have to improve on their showing against Ospreys to maintain their unbeaten record at home this season.

“Cardiff are so experienced, especially up front. They are a quality side with a good set-piece, big carriers and their halfbacks drive the game perfectly. They played a superbly-balanced game against the Sharks.

“Their home ground is a 4G pitch so they are also used to a fast game and they have special individual players. There is a lot of stuff we will have to be better at against such a quality side.

“I think it will be a humdinger and we will have to be spot-on to win,” Pienaar said.

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