Jake White says the Vodacom Bulls learned a valuable lesson in knockout rugby from Saturday’s scratchy performance against Griquas.
The Bulls raced into a 36-5 half-time lead at Loftus Versfeld, and were set to rout the visitors, but two yellow cards and a second-half fightback made for a nervy finish for the hosts.
White’s men sandwiched the sin-binning of Lizo Gqoboka and Madosh Tambwe between a first-half haul of five tries and two more in the second as they held on for a 48-38 win to reclaim top spot in the Currie Cup.
White says his troops must be more pragmatic as they head into the Vodacom United Rugby Championship playoffs, as well as Currie Cup semi-finals.
The Bulls face Ospreys in Wales on 20 May in the URC, after their derby clash with the Lions on Saturday.
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) May 9, 2022
“The one thing about knockout games is that there are no bonus points, so then it changes the nature of the game. Maybe we would’ve built more scoreboard pressure, taken the three instead of going to the corner,” the Bulls boss said.
“Then the flow of the game looks completely different as well. We did get out of it what we wanted. So far there are no injuries and everybody is available for next weekend. We’ve got two weeks before we get to the Ospreys, and I wouldn’t say it was a complete failure.
“When you get things wrong, you’re able to measure what you need to get right. There are certain things that we have to get right, otherwise we’re not going to be good enough to get into the next round of the URC, but we also want to win the Currie Cup.
“There are a lot of players that if they want to be part of the Currie Cup knockout stages, they are going to have to understand that we are going to have to get those things right. It’s about understanding what you need to do.”