Matfield: We have to improve

2011-02-28 08:01

J.J. Harmse

Pretoria – The Highlanders will not be as generous as the Bulls’ countrymen and that is why the champions will have to play for 80 minutes for a change.

Bulls captain Victor Matfield has expressed his satisfaction with the Super Rugby log, but immediately pointed out that it is not a reflection of the true state of affairs of his team’s two matches against the Lions and Cheetahs.

While the Bulls are not going to reflect on what might have been, they will definitely look for an improved performance against the Kiwis.

“We’ll have to play for 80 minutes. It was the second week in a row where we did not play for 80 minutes and that is not the standard we want to set for the rest of the season,” Matfield said after his team’s narrow but deserved victory in Bloemfontein on Friday.

“One has to bear in mind that this is still the beginning of the season, but our goal is to improve every week. We weren’t as good as we could be in the past two weeks, so there is a lot of work ahead,” he admitted.

One area the Bulls will have to improve is to protect their possession a lot better.

They gave the ball away 10 times against the Cheetahs and also wasted numerous attacking opportunities. Apart from the three tries they conceded, the Bulls defended well.

According to they only missed 7 out of 142 tackles. However, better focus on attack will certainly assist them in making bonus points a reality.

Centre Wynand Olivier did well on attack and carried the ball 138 metres against the Cheetahs.

The finishing is lacking and the absence thereof was nowhere more obvious than when Morné Steyn broke in the second half.

With team-mates on his left and right and few Cheetahs in front, he tried to find Derick Kuün with an outrageous pass without looking and what appeared a certain try went begging.

Olivier broke strongly once in the first half, but the pass was also lost.

However, the tries by Bakkies Botha and Fourie du Preez showed that the Bulls could score tries from phase play when they are patient.

Botha scored his 50th point in the competition after 10 phases and Du Preez his 100th after 9.

Meanwhile, Botha has injured ligaments in his foot and more certainty about the injury is expected on Monday.


  • Deon - 2011-02-28 08:42

    Matfield it is actually very easy. DO NOT KICK ALL YOUR BALL POSESSION AWAY. . MAGTIG MAN WAT GAAN AAN WANT SODRA JULLE DIE BAL IN DIE HAND HOU DAN GEBEUR DIE DINGE. O ja leer tog vir Wynand op die bal vir die ouens te pass want Basson hardloop op en af sonder om aan die bal te raak.

  • earlbok - 2011-02-28 09:15

    imagine how good we can get when on our worst we stil manage to win! Morne moet meer composed wees en beter dia bal pass, selde met wynand, Spies moet soms in die backline aansluit en ons wingsa kan hardloop hulle moet net die bal kry. die highlanders gaan a pakslae kry die naweek

  • pg001 - 2011-02-28 09:25

    Lot of peole will say today the bulls were lucky. If you devide the game into three parts it reads like this. First 25min the game were 50/50. 15min before halftime and 15min after halftime belonged to the cheetahs. The lastge 25min belonged to the bulls. What about that skrum performance!

  • dupvdmtrust - 2011-02-28 09:40

    Wynand se stats lyk so goed want hy is donners suinig. Hoekom praat ons nie eerder oor hoeveel keer hy van sy medespelers af weggehol het nie, hoeveel keer hy homself in isolasie ingehol het nie, en hoeveel keer Bjorn Basson 'n oop doellyn voor hom gehad het nie....en ek is self 'n Bulls ondersteuner.

  • Alwyn - 2011-02-28 09:51

    BIG MATCH TEMPRAMENT- In the last 34 Supergames the Bulls only lost 7,, Winning is an art and the Bulls perfected it,Winning with a point or 50 doesnt matter ,a win is a win,,Bonus pionts wil come this weekend against the Highlanders

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-02-28 10:51

    YES NO JA THE BULLS IS SUPER AWESOME! Net vandag vat ek vir Duane Vermeulen vas. It is absolute nonsense that Duane only tackles, bleeds, hits rucks, carries the ball etc, he has to start trying a drop goal or 2 and he must avoid ANY physical contact at all costs. Maybe Duane needs white boots?

      xperdt - 2011-02-28 12:20

      asseblief hou persoonlike intieme verhoudings tussen jou en ander mans weg van die blog-"...vandag vat ek vir Duane Vermeulen vas..." dis 'n familie vriendelike gesels blad wat ni geskik is vir homofreaks soos jy ni. danki

      Shistirrer - 2011-02-28 12:21

      Like Longdrop Spies?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-02-28 12:35

      @Shistirrer - hehehehehhehe, yes like LONGDROP (Blue bull gives you WINGS Spies) I am still ROTFL at that dropkick :)

      Johnny - 2011-02-28 13:50

      ....Slow-joe, tortoise, Duanne vermeulen is an overrated plooooooka........

      Midnic - 2011-03-01 11:38

      LOL @ Long-drop Spies!!

  • Blue Jake - 2011-02-28 10:56

    Whatever makes you feel better, watalife.

      watalife - 2011-02-28 12:58

      Blue Jake i do feel so much better when the bulls are starting to run out of ideas, yes they played well but the were rather lucky against the Cheetahs. Most of these articles posted have written off the Highlanders already BIG MISTAKE

      mike - 2011-02-28 21:26

      Bulls don't need new ideas, no one has figured out how to handle the old ones yet!

      Midnic - 2011-03-01 11:42

      @Watalife: LOL!! Lucky!? Please do explain?

  • Michiel - 2011-02-28 13:38

    Every One can see the Bulls are not at their best at the moment. But they do nat have a one dimensional play. just look at last seasons stats. The closest team scored 8% less tries, the closest SA team (stormers) 24% less tries. Yes their tactical kicking has been bad in the last 2 games, but the Bulls 2 wings scored more tries than any other team last year, making up 31% of Bulls tries. Backline making up 73% of Bulls Tries.

      LouBal - 2011-02-28 15:13

      Vatso laat die stats praat!

  • BardofAvon - 2011-02-28 22:15

    The scoreboard does not have a "remarks" column.

  • Whatever - 2011-03-01 02:50

    "Deserved victory" ou JJ blouh@l apie!?Jy bly maar net n d@@s!Probleem is jy besef nie hoe groot een nie.PAPPA SMURF jou mamma SUCKS!

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