Don't write off the Bulls!

2011-03-24 12:20

JJ Harmse

The fine line between success and failure was once again clearly evident over the past couple of days.
Last Saturday at Loftus Versfeld, Bryan Habana crossed that line, first to the one side and then to the other, in an absorbing Super Rugby game that showed that the Stormers are a serious team this season, even if they are playing rugby from the Bulls manual more and more...

For the Bulls of course, and any other team for that matter, alarm bells must start ringing when another team beats you by taking you on at your own strengths.

I once referred to Western Province (after a Currie Cup loss to the Falcons in Brakpan a couple of years back) as ‘returning to the soft fields of Newlands. Soft fields for soft guys’, I wrote at the time.

Coach Allister Coetzee, with whom I have been friends for a long time, at the time did not like the reference that much and told me as much.
Come Saturday night at Loftus, after the Stormers deservedly beat the Bulls by outmuscling them at the breakdown, Coetzee again reminded me of that line, but this time with a very satisfying grin.

I was so happy for him, because, based on what we saw on the weekend, the Stormers indeed stood their ground - and without their real hard man, Schalk Burger, even present!

Coetzee had to wait a while for that grin, but this will be good for the Stormers as well as the Bulls.

Knowing the character of the defending Super Rugby champions, they will be back, sooner rather than later. You write the Bulls off at your own peril.

Another example of that fine line was seen on Monday night when Maties fell flat on their faces on that cow patch they prepared at the Danie Craven stadium in Stellenbosch.

They suffered the same fate as the Bulls did, being outplayed by a team who ran the ball with great purpose, were clinical on the counter attack and used the pace of their wings.

Yes, I'm referring to UJ and not the Maties!

Their elimination before the Varsity Cup semi-final stage was as big an upset as was the Cheetahs' win over the Waratahs in Sydney.

It is clear that the Varsity Cup is becoming bigger and bigger and is threatening the existence of the Vodacom Cup.

Those two cannot run next to each other any longer and SARU’s game development department will have to look at a different way to structure the season.

Next year we will see the return of inbound tours, an expanded version of the Tri-Nations and of course, the stop-start version of Super Rugby as well.

Speaking to national Under-20 coach, Dawie Theron, just before he took his squad to Argentina a few days ago, he lamented the fact that he needed a tour like this to prepare his side for the Junior World Cup in June.

The ideal would have been if SARU started their junior competitions (Under-19 and Under-21) in February or March as well.
Just imagine the benefits Theron would have as Under-20 coach if all his contenders were playing in a competition in March and April, giving him May to prepare for the June showpiece?

The Varsity Cup is already using a lot of young players and if we have our junior competitions at that time as well, Theron will be a very happy man.

But it all does mean that the rugby landscape, at least at local level, will have to change. And for that, SARU needs to prioritise their list of competitions, how they can feed into the national system and the national teams.

There is no sense in domestic competitions not working towards or benefiting your national sides.

The line between success and failure is too thin for that.

Read JJ every Sunday in Rapport.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


  • Stormersuck - 2011-03-24 12:24

    Sudenly everybody is nice to the Bulls and their supporters,,Did i realy create a peacefull enviroment?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-24 12:33


      Stormersuck - 2011-03-24 12:40

      Stalker? me ,,,,,no i were first on this site,,,you followed,technically it would make you the Stalker,But who cares,we are all here to enjoy the day commenting on rugby,,,,,,,,The BULLS will still be hurt after their home defeat and might use this weekends game as their comeback on the winning trail,things may change drastically over the next three weeks, ,,,guess we,l have to wait and see

      Loder - 2011-03-24 12:44

      Nope, you only directed the unpleasant environment to yourself. Why do you not pick a name which supports your Team? Why do you hate or dislike the Stormers or Stormers Supporters, as stated in another column, that much. The only thing it illustrates is your lack of support for your own team, as you would rather focus your hatred on other teams supporters. You have become what you don't like about other bad supporters. Anyway, Good Luck with that!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-24 12:46

      @STALKERMAN: delusions of grandeur - a delusion (common in paranoia) that you are much greater and more powerful and influential than you really are delusion, psychotic belief - (psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary megalomania - a psychological state characterized by delusions of grandeur Case closed......Sheriff.

      BALSAK - 2011-03-25 07:40

      POEPHOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP YOUR NONSENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      CliffBradley - 2011-03-25 11:40

      Please check the Bakkies Botha Article and then check who starts the insults n the articles and talk to us then !!!!

      Stormer4eva - 2011-03-25 13:01

      I see you not interested in answering Cliff , did he hit a nerve , you tell us to not insult - ANSWER THE MAN !!!

      Stormer4eva - 2011-03-25 15:41


      CliffBradley - 2011-03-26 06:10

      Hey Lady - Why no speak ?

      Stormer4eva - 2011-03-26 14:45

      Stormersuck: She came , she spoke nonsense , she buggered off when the truth came out !!!!!

  • rugby_guru - 2011-03-24 12:36

    We all knows the bulls can do it, it isn't the players that is the problem they the same players that won back to back S14 titles, the problem is their coach, and without new innovative ways to re-invent themself, they will continue to struggle..

      Stormersuck - 2011-03-24 12:42

      Guru ,youre so right,Give Heyneke Meyer a chance to rectify the mistakes with a few good training sessions,,,,but please after the Sharks game

      BALSAK - 2011-03-24 12:42

      I agree with you CHIEF. Their ideas are OUTDATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POEPHOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      gooinat - 2011-03-24 12:43

      Agreed 100% with you rugby_guru,its outdated,all the teams have caught up and passed them,fresh management is needed in the Bulls camp.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-24 12:49

      @Stalkerman - if you think a few training sessions with Heyneke is all that is needed from hereon in - you suffer from far more than just delusions of grandeur and megalomania, friend.

  • BALSAK - 2011-03-24 12:41

    Why this article? Hoekom word die Blou Bulle se gesigte gekoop? There days are over, they will not beat the STORMERS again. They will also loose 60% of their remaining games, including this weekend against the LIONS. I'm a STORMERS SUPPORTER, but GO LIONS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Stormersuck - 2011-03-24 13:01

      Thats it my boy ,support SA rugby this way ,and that is why your team will never win the Trophy,no loyalty

      Johnnybg - 2011-03-24 13:29

      ...the stormer bra = good support, but no cups...!!

      Carl Muller - 2011-03-25 07:52

      Bla bla bla. Dit is al wat jy laasjaar kon se. Kom ons kyk maar weer in die einde van die jaar.

      kyktweekeer - 2011-03-25 09:34

      ...and you have WHAT to show as evidence of your snoekkop-soutsnawels' team success the last...ummm...let's make it three years? Oh, sorry I must have missed the presentation of the S15 cup at Loftus last Saturday. 2011 champs, die Stormers mos- I must confess, Jean's words of praise to his team and coaches during the recently completed S15 season apparently triggered a few tears though...

  • Mxo32 - 2011-03-24 12:56

    Game plan is outdated please come up with new ideas.....

  • Stormersuck - 2011-03-24 12:59

    @SAFFA CAT Scrape yourself away from your dictionary and look at life outside, youre missing a lot,it can be an awsome expierience ,stop being so negative,but you must agree not a lot of insults flying around like yesterday so yes i do bring a calmness to this forum,,, @loder,,,,i chose the name Sormerssuck in protest of what Stormers supporters were doing to other users on this forum,now myself im a Shark supporter and proud of it, but i do not win my teams case with cheap insults,hope this cleared it up for you

      watalife - 2011-03-24 13:07

      No i am floored, Is it Stormersuck or Stormerssuck? u a very confussed little bulletjie

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-24 13:40

      @Stalkerstormersuck-The only thing you bring to this forum mate, is an incredibly high opinion of yourself covered with whatever germs you are harbouring....thats it. Nothing more....

      Stormersuck - 2011-03-24 14:00

      Nice insult,if it make you feel better keep it coming,you actually just prove a point that you might fall in the common class yourself

      Shistirrer - 2011-03-24 14:09

      We learned the insults from the Insult Champions 2007, 2009 and 2010. Sorry, our own Insult Trophy cabinet has been empty the past 11 years...

      Stormersuck - 2011-03-24 14:13

      Dont say sorry shistirrer,embrace life and your fellow rugby supporters

  • CliffBradley - 2011-03-24 13:16

    We don't have to write them off , you got to be doing something besides losing to be written off !!

      Johnnybg - 2011-03-24 13:26 can write the Stormers off... .......according to the last 11 years history.... ...He he he he he ..!!

      Hannes van der Linde - 2011-03-24 14:48

      HAHAHAHA!!! and most of them are men!

  • Mumford - 2011-03-24 13:29

    I think i know what Stormersuck actually is...and it make me nauseous!!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-24 13:33


      Stormersuck - 2011-03-24 14:05

      I will tell you who and what i am,,,,a female with cancer,who only after i got ill realised that life is not something to be taken for granted,,,,calling other names insults actually take precious time away from everything that is suppose to be beautifull,now that i told you a bit about myself think about what i said.

      Shistirrer - 2011-03-24 14:14

      No you got it wrong. It's what the Pretoria wives do when they come to Cape Town on shopping trips.

      Mumford - 2011-03-24 14:17

      cry me a river.Sorry about your illness but that does not give you a ticked to insult people and get away with it.....and before you say anything you have insulted us.Do you see any stormer's supporter with the name bullsuck or sharksuckbigtime????No.So catch a wake up gal!!

      Stormersuck - 2011-03-24 14:24

      Pity you feel this way but doesnt matter ,the fact remains i have not insulted you and will not do it ever ,i know i m a better person,BUT the degrading comments on this forum from the Stormers and some Bulls players are lowclass to say the least, now read all your own comments and tell me that you do not feel guilty,if you can say that you do have a serious problem in life

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-24 14:27

      @Stormersuck - Dreadful news RE: your illness, and sorry to hear that. For the rest: Take your own advice, before forcing it down the throats of others-maybe then I will take what you say seriously.

      gooinat - 2011-03-24 14:39

      This is better than Days of our lives........@Stormersuck,do you feel guilty about some of the things you have said????

      Mumford - 2011-03-24 14:40

      stormersuck....all good.If what you say is true, i wish you all the best to a successful recovery and if the Stormers win the S15 i will be sending you a signed Stormers jersey for your wall!!

      thumper - 2011-03-24 14:49

      Maybe all you people with sucking fetishes should get together and suck each other one way or another until you get this obsession out of your systems.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-24 15:04

      What would you call this Stormersuck? - this is one of your comments: Stormersuck - 7 hours ago Report comment Hope the Force rip the arogant Stormers to pieces,,bunch of wine sucking twerps THAT IS AN INSULT NON? Now start again, convince me otherwise and I might take what you say a little more seriously.

      Alwyn - 2011-03-24 15:27

      Hi die ongeletterde trio vannie Kaap en Dominee het julle my gemis?

      CliffBradley - 2011-03-24 17:44

      Stormersuck: Are you serious or are you shitting us ?

      buka001 - 2011-03-24 18:41

      Stormersuck you are such a hypocrite! That comment you made in respect of Stormers vs the force is insulting. What you said there is essentially classed in the same category as what you claim to stand against, insulting comments from supporters? You make no sense, your comments are insulting. I will pay attention to what you say, when you start being unbiased and respectful.

      molefeP - 2011-03-25 07:59

      @Mummford, SAFFA-CAT and Cliff Bradley. If you fall for this old trick...... But see, this is trolling at its best! You are looking at a master! lol

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-25 09:05

      Indeed Molefe :) But just in case...I did say 'sorry' for the illness :) (You never know when it is true...1/10 chance...)

      Zee - 2011-03-25 09:58

      @Stormersuck - "calling other names insults actually take precious time away from everything that is suppose to be beautiful". So wait, you go on and on about insults and degrading comments but you have an insulting username. Go change that first, and maybe we can talk - hypocrite.

      Stormer4eva - 2011-03-25 13:04

      Alwyn : Ons mis net daai dom dik lyf van jou met die Neus Ring & Horings - Ek moet dit elke dag sien om my te laat lag - AAP

  • GILLBERT - 2011-03-24 13:32

    unny how the stormers is like a bunch of pink poodles playing on soft grass.. lol..all bark and no bite.. there is about 11 more games to play no body has won yet i thought you would have learned that last year..... stormers still havent learned how to score tries since last year so no use trying to teach them something

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-24 13:40

      Schools out.

      GILLBERT - 2011-03-24 13:53

      you should have gone to school for that saffa

      Mumford - 2011-03-24 14:21

      but these pink poodles gave the Mighty Bulls a clap!!

      thumper - 2011-03-24 14:47

      Who yanked your chain? Pink Poodles? What you smoking man? All bark, no bite, 1 try and yet good enough to completely outplay the Bulls!

      CapeBuffalo - 2011-03-24 14:59

      Woef.........Poodles vs Bulls...who would win the battle....oh sorry forgot 23-13

      Hannes van der Linde - 2011-03-24 15:09

      Jis wouldn't it be nice if the bulls didn't even make the play-offs. Nou that would be funny!

      Marx - 2011-03-24 15:24

      hear that 1 try this season....and they are barking at our game plan.....hehe

      GILLBERT - 2011-03-24 15:28

      thats ok i only live in pretoria i support the blue and saders, weeeeee peeeee just blows apes

      Alwyn - 2011-03-24 15:30

      @SAFFA Skool is uit? so nou gaan jy seker daycare toe tot mammie en haar kerel jou kom haal,maar jou vrot ,,,jy weet wat in elk geval, Dumbfart selle vir jou

      Marx - 2011-03-24 15:30

      Completely out played the Bulls.....we played one of the worst games in years, and if Steyn kicked the penalties.....I would be chuffed to, cause when last did you manage to beat the team everyone wants and needs to beat?

      Alwyn - 2011-03-24 15:32

      Hannes my ou maat ,weet jy wat sal snaaks wees? as jy vroeer vandag huis toe gegaan het sou jy Pappa Smurf op die job gevang het met jou vrou,,,,bwahahahaaha ,,,wat die Bulls aan betref hulle sal daar wees moenie jou ou pielietjie daaroor breek nie

      Johnnybg - 2011-03-24 15:53

      ...die Stormertjies gaan maar weer soos gewoonlik "fade".... ........gee net kans...

      Balsakhater - 2011-03-24 16:13

      Stormersuck for president. Stormers Suck and the wine are bitter and sour for the last 11 years. Come Sif Cat, pull out the dictionary try to again impress people with your spelling and word play. You and mof fart is the 2 most common capy's on this forum. And i hope you flap your mouths with the crap you write here in the open as well. Definitely will be walking around with your passion gaps very quickly. Cape common K@K.

      Bootman - 2011-03-24 17:05

      Is this the same Alwyn, who just a couple of days ago, was crying like a little bitch about people insulting him and his family? This doos is not a bulls supporter. He's just a turd in a bulls jersey he probably stole from somebody's washing line. From the comments from him that I've read, I can tell he know very little about rugby. Probably watches rugby through the window at morkels and I feel sorry for the poor oke that has to come in on monday morning and wipe the snot of the window and clean the hurl of the sidewalk.

      Jacques Bester - 2011-03-29 09:17

      "stormers still havent learned how to score tries since last year so no use trying to teach them something" Are you gonna stand by this comment after the decimation of the Western Force this weekend?

  • RJ - 2011-03-24 15:04

    Sharks with Carl "doos in die hand" Mcloud Suck saders by the amount of kilometers from durban to london

      Ragged-Tooth - 2011-03-24 16:58

      Who the toss is Carl? You really are as thick as pig........! You'll make a very good kiwi supporter, just as self assured (read arrogant), only difference is, your team as yet have achieved jack.

  • GraemeBB - 2011-03-24 17:50

    After watching the game again this afternoon, I agree - dont write off the Bulls yet. There are a few niggles, but nothing that cant be sorted out. It is hard when your team plays as poorly as they did on Saturday - but like any loyal supporter - we will live in hope.

  • jan du preeaz - 2011-03-24 18:20

    kak man, the bulls' game plan suck, combined with old players and pretty boys like spies. what is the use of matfield if he is to scared to take on bekker in the line out? then the stupid coach recons he will not change the game plan? well done to the stormers, i hate them but they showed my team how to play rugby saturday. AND balsak and sifkat is still assholes!!!

      GraemeBB - 2011-03-24 19:36

      I didnt say they played well, I said I have hope. You can write them off, but I refuse to - my team is my team!

      jan du preeaz - 2011-03-24 20:26

      bud, if you can't see the writing on the wall, wake up!! they have the talent etc, but need direction, i love this team as well, we need a new coach and rebuild, there is no way they can reach a semi the way they are now

      Whatever - 2011-03-24 21:42

      Tipiese vetpens BB "kenners".Verlede jaar was Ludeke THE MAN nou wil hul hom fire na 2 verlore!?Dis nou afrikaner wysheid! Die SPELERS se egos is te groot man en ja maybe het jul n afrigter met meer as 2 breinselle ook nodig.Met idiote soos"Up and under" Kirchner,"Apie" vd Heever,"Dagga" Basson, "Meisiekind" Olivier,"Jacobregop" Steyn,"Spietkop" du Preez, "Gangster" Hougaard, "Hoesmedisyne" Ralepele, "Band-Aid" Matfield,"Vuilgat" Botha,"Slegman" Stegman, 'Blondie" Pottie en "skouponie" Spies wat verwag julle?Dan nog n spul kanaalbarbers op die paviljoen ook!Eish!!

      BardofAvon - 2011-03-24 22:37

      @Whatever: 10/10!!!!

      GraemeBB - 2011-03-24 22:46

      Jan - dont you think I am not dissapointed? Dont you think I was pissed off at the absolute rubish I had to witness this season so far? Even though some of your points are valid, I wont turn my back on the Bulls. I loved them then, and I love them now. I figure with the whole country turning on them, even though they may deserve it, I will be the supporter who will stand by my team - as delusional as you may think I am. Let those who want to give me kak about my team do so. I was counted when my team was winning. Agree, dont agree, like me or not - I honestly dont give a shit.

      jan du preeaz - 2011-03-25 14:58

      whateva, hoe lank het jy gevat om al daai name vir die spelers uit te dink ou maat, 10/10 vir dit jou arme leerling druiwe plukker. GBB, ek sal as n' blou bul supporter sterf, maar wees realisties, die coaching staff het in 4 games nie geleer om die plan aan te pas nie, plus sommige spelers hoort nie daar nie. miskien moet wakker skrik en besef daar is supporters wat baie krities is, en hoe standaarde vereis van hul span, anders is jy dieselfde as a blinde stormer supporter wat maar lae standaarde het

  • Robynsky - 2011-03-24 21:48

    You dont correct poor form like that in 2 or 3 games. They will probably beat the lions on Saturday, but Kaiser Chiefs could also do that, their kicking game is deffinately better. The Bulls will continue to Battle. JJ may be hoping alot more than thinking.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-03-24 22:34

    The Weerprobeerers are carrying on like they just won the World Cup. All they have won is one game. It was not even a knockout. For them it was the greatest day in their lives, but for us it was Saturday.

      zottomike - 2011-03-25 05:35

      Well said. But I suppose if you are so used to being on the losing side, when you finaly win something it is great news. I just hope you guys are all right and this Bulls team bounces back. I will be back here on Monday morning. Either crying or to say I told you so!!!! Enjoy the games.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-03-25 07:51

    The Stormers ran over the Bulls. They took the line outs, they took the scrums and they scored. .I was surprised that they only scored one try. The Bulls will have to improve dramatically. The Lions are coming to Pretoria to win. May the best team win and may we see top rugby. Bulls forever.

  • JR - 2011-03-25 14:31

    Remember 2008 we BULLS won nothing. ZIltch Nana No Cup.... um..... same as Problems and Sharkies.... nannnnnnnasss... NOTHING. 2009 and 2010 BULLS WON BOTH. Problems and Sharkies nannnnnassssssssssss.... NOTHING

  • Chadwick - 2011-03-25 14:55

    Sheesh, what a mess. I come here to read rugby articles and peoples opinions on them. But it's always like a friggin warzone in here. Everyone bashing eachother's teams and personal attacks. Dont think it's gona change but damn, just thought I'd say that. Just remember that in the end, 99% of you will stand holding hands in a Springbok jersey given the chance.

  • CliffBradley - 2011-03-26 12:13

    Stormersuck : And now please give me an answer , even if it is to stuff off , at least then we know you are still alive !!!

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