Vodacom Super 14
Fourie key to Bulls success
Fourie du Preez (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - World Cup winning-coach Jake White believes the form of scrumhalf Fourie du Preez is one of the major reasons the Bulls have scored so many tries this season.
White, who nowadays is coaching schools rugby in Cape Town while promoting his Winning Ways coaching courses, believes that the form scrumhalves in the competition – and particularly Du Preez and Reds halfback Will Genia – are disrupting defensive lines to such an extent that their attacking prowess is improved significantly.
White says Du Preez in particular, is keeping defences guessing to such an extent that they are not sure whether to fan out or protect the area around the breakdown.
Du Preez had an exceptional game in the Bulls victory over the Chiefs last weekend and will now come face to face with Genia in the much anticipated showdown between the two scrumhalves on Saturday.
White says he has been impressed with the Bulls and Stormers, but compliments the Bulls for their impressive play that has kept them top of the Super 14 log after nine rounds.
“The Bulls and Stormers are playing to their strengths. The one thing the Bulls are doing very well is that they have a scrumhalf who is asking questions around the breakdown. He can probe, run, kick and pass and therefore he is keeping defences honest,” White told Supersport.com
“Will Genia is doing the same and Luke Burgess is doing the same. For me because the defences are taking so much longer to set up and you can’t slow the ball down, the most vulnerable place is the pillar and the guy next to the pillar – the two guys next to the ruck.
“If you get a player who asks questions of that, it puts your entire defensive system under pressure. When you get players such as Du Preez and Genia probing there, it draws the defences in, and means you can play a bit more expansively.”
White says he has been very impressed with the shift in momentum thanks to the changes in laws which now favour the attacking team.
“I’ve been impressed. The new law interpretations have definitely changed the game a bit. Defences are now getting exposed. For the last couple of years it became a defence-orientated game and now all of a sudden it is attack that is key.
“The one thing we mustn’t be hoodwinked about is that although it has become a possession game and you have to keep the ball, territory is vital. The tries are all coming in the first three phases and they’re coming from lineouts and scrums.
“So even though you have to keep the ball for many phases, most of the scoring is happening within three phases.”