Coach Nollis Marais says the Vodacom Bulls will continue to embrace a different and dynamic brand of rugby during next year’s Super Rugby, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
The Blue Bulls adopted a refreshingly positive approach during the 2015 Currie Cup campaign, adding an exciting new dimension to their play as they scored 41 tries on their way to securing a home semi-final.
Talented winger Jamba Ulengo emerged as the leading try-scorer as he dotted down 11 times, while Junior Springbok Warrick Gelant was a constant threat at fullback.
With Springboks such as Rudy Paige, Handré Pollard, Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel set to add further experience and attacking firepower to their backline options in Super Rugby, the Bulls certainly have the players to maintain a ball-in-hand approach.
Marais agreed they needed to keep moving with the times.
‘We’ve been looking closely at the way we want to play. I really feel the game is evolving and we need to be able to adapt and adjust. I also believe we have the players with the talent and ability to embrace a new style of play, and while it might look a little different to the way the Bulls have traditionally played, we’re confident that it’s the way to go. It’s the sort of thing that obviously needs to be tested under pressure, and in big matches, so it will be a process, while it obviously remains important to find that balance between knowing when to run and when to kick.’
The Bulls endured a disappointing Super Rugby campaign this year, managing just seven wins from 16 matches as they finished ninth on the overall log.
Marais said they would always set their standards at the highest level, while realising that success would not just necessarily come overnight.
‘Our goal is always to win Super Rugby. If we’re just talking about reaching the play-offs, then we’re setting our sights too low. But having said that, we also need to be patient, if it doesn’t happen immediately then we’ll need to reassess for the year after that, or the year after. It’s about putting the correct standards and culture in place at the Bulls, and striving to be the best.’