Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    Bulls staying true to their cause

    2016-04-07 12:57

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - For a side that has lost just once in five matches, the Bulls are taking a lot of flak.

    The Pretoria-based side have not lost since the opening weekend of Super Rugby when they fell apart in the second half against the Stormers at Newlands to go down 33-9.

    But a closer look suggests a lack of consistency that coach Nollis Marais and captain Adriaan Strauss have been vocal on.

    The Bulls themselves are not happy with their performances so far.

    After the Stormers, the Bulls shipped four straight second-half tries against the Rebels at Loftus to lose a bonus point, drew to the Sharks at home, edged the lowly Sunwolves away and then last weekend another poor second half display allowed the Cheetahs back into the match - the Bulls winning 23-18 in the end. 

    Played five, won three, drawn one, lost one - not bad for a side that is undergoing a metamorphosis, but the performances that have accompanied the results have not been as encouraging. 

    Marais, though, has re-emphasised the bigger picture as his side prepares for this Saturday's trip to Port Elizabeth to take on the rejuvenated Kings. 

    The message from the coach is clear: successfully executing a more expansive brand of rugby will take time. 

    Marais gave a passionate and honest account of the current state of affairs at Loftus when he announced his team for the weekend on Wednesday.

    "My main focus is, and I’ve said to the guys previously … it might not be the 80 minute performance that we’re looking for yet but we mustn’t vary from the way we want to play in the next couple of games," Marais said.

    "It might not be ‘lekker’, it might not be nice every time … but we have to stick to it.

    "We had a lot of opportunities to go out wide this weekend (against the Cheetahs) and we didn’t do it.

    "We got back in old habits and started playing like we were under pressure."

    Marais is looking for his players to focus solely on the team's philosophy and to ignore any criticism that might come from outside of the camp.

    "We mustn’t see anything else now but where we want to be and taking the steps to getting there," he said.

    "I will always be hard on it … we have to change the way we think about things and how we approach things.

    "Unfortunately, it’s now time for us to do it and we’re starting something brand new from the beginning.

    "It doesn’t always look to the media or the fans like we have a plan … but that’s not the thing.

    "We’ve got to sit with the players and make sure they understand it … but because they haven’t played that way for numerous years, it’s a different mind-set for them.

    "The only way they can play is by trial and error. There are certain things that we need to control like set-pieces and game management, and that will only get better with time."

    Saturday's clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium kicks off at 19:15.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read


    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 10:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 11:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 15:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 19:30


    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Opinion Poll

    Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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