Currie Cup

Bulls must up their level: Pine

2012-10-17 20:25
Pine Pienaar (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar says they have to perform at a higher level against the Sharks if they want to advance to the Currie Cup final.

The Bulls thumped the Golden Lions 50-29 in Johannesburg last week, but the coach expect his players to up their level even more at Kings Park on Saturday.

“We know that in semi-finals, mistakes and discipline will cost you," Pienaar said.

"We conceded 15 penalties against the Lions, which I am not happy with, and with that you concede field position and ball possession."

For the first time this season Pienaar on Wednesday announced an unchanged side for two consecutive matches after they dismantled their trans-Jukskei rivals.

The Bulls had been inconsistent for most of the season but Pienaar believed the team’s victory over the Cheetahs four weeks ago was the turning point in their campaign.

The side’s defensive struggles were well documented this season, though they improved in leaps and bounds in recent weeks.

Pienaar highlighted their improved defence as one of the key factors for turning a possible disastrous campaign around.

“The biggest step-up we made was defensively over the last four games, and if you have a look at the games that we lost, we conceded so many soft tries and easy tries which put us under pressure,” he said.

“We basically played against ourselves and that is something we've done better.

“We are quicker in line, especially the guys’ commitment on the one-one-one tackle which has improved since the first round.”

The Pretoria-based side face a tough battle against this season’s log-leaders at Kings Park, a venue that has been an impenetrable fortress for teams travelling to Durban.

The Bulls have also not won a Currie Cup match against the Sharks in Durban since 2006, a statistic of which their captain, Dewald Potgieter, was well aware.

“They’ve been one of the more successful sides in recent seasons," Potgieter said.

"They've had a pretty good season and a lot of momentum that they carried forward from Super Rugby.

“If you want to go to Durban you have to be at your best to win there and that’s why maybe they find themselves under pressure there, because teams always have to lift themselves for that fixture, and we know we will have to do the same.”

Pienaar conceded that the Sharks were the favourites to take the spoils but he was optimistic that his team’s ability to triumph through adversity could see them cause an upset on Saturday.

“What encourages me is the fact that we fought ourselves out of hole over the last four weeks and I am looking forward to what we will bring,” Pienaar said.

“Of course the Sharks are the favourites and they have done well in the Currie Cup over the last four years.”




Blue Bulls:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Mornè Mellett

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Dean Greyling

Read more on:    blue bulls  |  currie cup  |  pine pienaar  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland Cavaliers, Johannesburg 17:00
Pumas v Griquas, Nelspruit 19:10
27 August 2016
Eastern Province Kings v Western Province, Port Elizabeth 16:00
Sharks v Blue Bulls, Durban 18:10
02 September 2016
Boland Cavaliers v Pumas, Wellington 15:00
Blue Bulls v Golden Lions, Pretoria 19:00
03 September 2016
Cheetahs v Eastern Province Kings, Bloemfontein 15:00
Western Province v Sharks, Cape Town 17:10
08 September 2016
Griquas v Boland Cavaliers, Kimberley 19:00
09 September 2016
Golden Lions v Western Province, Johannesburg 19:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

The new-look Currie Cup format for 2016 is,

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.