Currie Cup

Bulls pass first real test

2015-08-15 12:46
Lappies Labuschangne (Gallo Images)

Pretoria – After a relatively easy first-round in this year’s Currie Cup, the Blue Bulls had to fight their way back against Griquas to claim a 36-12 victory in Pretoria on Friday evening.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais believes this was a valuable test for his young side as they overturned a 12-6 deficit for a comprehensive victory in the end.

“I thought we played good rugby, we just didn’t get the reward, we forced too many offloads in the beginning,” Marais said.

“It was a good learning curve on how to play different situations when you are on the back foot and how to create space from that situation. Credit to the Griquas, they played very well in the first half.”

After their 43-19 defeat to Western Province last week, Griquas were full value in the first hour in Pretoria where they were defensively astute against the Bulls’ lively back three.

Griquas would have enjoyed a bigger cushion had Gouws Prinsloo succeeded with two penalty attempts and a conversion kick.

The Bulls did not help their own cause either as they launched promising attacks only to lose the ball in the offload.

“We came from 12-6 down in the first half and the boys just made the step up, they just showed that it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you are good enough you have to play,” Marais said.

“We said we wanted to try a different brand of rugby and they believe in it and you can’t keep them back.”

Bulls captain Lappies Labuschagne, who had another superb match leading from the front, said the victory would hold the team in good stead as they face stronger opposition in weeks to come.

“Our team built character through this where we were on attack for the bigger part of the first half but they defended well,” he said.

“At half-time they had their noses in front and the guys had to show some character because their tails were up. We remained cool headed and in the last 20 minutes it came off for us.”

Meanwhile, Griquas coach Hawies Fourie said his side could take some positives from the match despite losing their second consecutive match.

“We played well, especially in the first half, the penalties we missed either side of half-time cost us a bit of momentum and it would have made a difference if Gouws slotted those two penalties,” Fourie said.

“The Bulls played better in the second half, they made a few errors in the first half and they might have underestimated us a bit.

“There is no cause for panic, we will build on what went well tonight, the first half was a lot better compared to last week, it is only last 20 minutes that we have to improve on.”

Read more on:    blue bulls  |  currie cup  |  nollis marais  |  rugby

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