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Ken Borland

Jake on the offensive as Cape-based journos feel his ire 0

Posted on January 03, 2023 by Ken

Bulls coach Jake White was on the offensive after his team’s poor display in their 31-17 defeat at the hands of Munster, with a couple of Cape-based journalists feeling his ire in prickly exchanges.

The questions they raised were largely self-evident, but White took exception to his team being described as “outmuscled” and when asked about senior players not standing up, he asked for a list.

There is no doubt that the Bulls were second-best at the gain-line, as shown by Munster scoring three of their four tries from pick-and-goes, while they bashed away at the home team’s line for the last 10 minutes without getting through.

The only Bulls players who emerged with credit from the game were youngsters David Kriel, a second-half substitute, and fullback Kurt-Lee Arendse, who was still full of attacking threat in the wind and rain.

“I don’t think we were outmuscled at all,” White said afterwards. “We leaked a couple of tries from close quarters, but I’m proud of the way we fought back, it was a good learning curve.

“Munster have a lot of internationals and will definitely be near the top at the end of the competition. It was raining, they contested well in the lineouts, where we had a young hooker.

“We are still a long way from where we want to be, but our spine, numbers two, eight, nine and 15 are all youngsters, while theirs are internationals. I’m not happy with the result, but I am a realist.

“We will keep staying positive. If I listened to you guys in the media, I would go stand on top of a building and jump! We have a very young group and last season they exceeded expectations,” White said.

What possession they had, the Bulls often wasted with poorly-directed kicks, but White made it sound like you needed to be the Dean of Science at the University of Limerick on the other side of the River Shannon to understand the wind.

“Conditions did not help us and we kicked inaccurately. But the wind made it very difficult – you were constantly worried that if you kicked short then the ball would come straight back to you, or if you gave it more it would go too long.

“The conditions were in the forwards’ favour and Munster bravely defended their line at the end. Being at home, they obviously played the conditions well and the worst thing was that we gave them a 17-3 start in the first half.

“We have what we have in terms of players and they have got to grow. If we started Bismarck du Plessis, what would Jan-Hendrik Wessels learn?

“It’s not the end of the world, touring is very difficult, we saw that with Ulster almost losing to the Lions. I can’t hide these players, I’ve got to put them in pressure situations and I know they will get better over time,” White said.

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