Loose forwards Elrigh Louw and Nizaam Carr have their sights trained on the Currie Cup trophy as the Vodacom Bulls shoot for a strong finish to a disappointing season.
This season, Bulls chief Jake White jas deployed a variety of lineups, to mixed results, including a run of 10 defeats in all competitions and three losses against the DHL Stormers in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
The Stormers beat the Bulls in the quarter-finals last week, and The Herd are now shifting focus to rugby’s oldest competition to salvage the season.
Speaking in a media conference on Thursday, Louw acknowledged the “trial and error” approach that the Bulls had taken, but stressed the importance of taking lessons from all the setbacks.
“There are a couple of ways to approach things and some teams did it one way, and we did it another way,” he said. “If we had won the URC then everyone would’ve been praising the way we did it.
“But it didn’t go our way and it’s easy to point fingers and say that person did that wrong, and that decision wasn’t right, and so forth.
“I think we learnt a lot of lessons as a group and took a lot out of those [experiences] in the URC. And a lesson is only a lesson if you better yourself, and I feel strongly we’ve taken away stuff that we can apply to the Currie Cup.
“Obviously there is disappointment, everyone’s a bit negative and heartsore about how things played out for us. [But] we’ve got a new energy after the URC and we’re motivated to finish this Currie Cup on a high note, as it’s all we’ve got to focus on.
“We’ve got a goal and a plan for the rest of the season and the Currie Cup is an opportunity for us to build and show we’ve learnt from our mistakes.”
Carr, who won back-to-back Currie Cup titles with the Bulls in 2020 and 2021, added: “This group is always building and wanting to improve. We’re hungry to learn, we’re hungry for success and while the results haven’t gone our way, that doesn’t define us.
“We’re really looking forward to this Currie Cup competition and winning it for the third time [in four successive seasons] and have our eyes set on that.”
The Bulls have had a tough time in the Currie Cup as well, sitting second from bottom after nine rounds, and will be facing a resurgent Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.
Yet, Carr is optimistic about a change in fortunes for the men from Pretoria: “The boys are a little down from being knocked out [of the URC], but that is sport. But we’re excited and looking forward to the next competition.”
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix