Speaking after his team’s Currie Cup victory against the Lions, Vodacom Bulls coach Jake White was full of praise for how his youngsters performed.
‘You have to remember we have four guys in that backline U21 qualified; and to see them stand up against some established guys like Burger Odendaal, Dan Kriel, Wandisile Simelane and of course Elton was very pleasing,’ White commented.
After an solid defensive display White was quick to sing the praises of his forward pack.
‘At times we probably haven’t been up to expectations in terms of all departments of our forward pack – but at the Bulls we pride ourselves in having packs that can not only find parity but dominate. Today I think we scrummed well and people can see the Bulls pack have definitely stepped up.’
White singled out the performance of second row Jan Uys who put in an impressive shift on debut for the Bulls.
‘Maybe he’s a hidden gem. He wants to play for the Bulls and be a part of this team. He’s extremely positive and he’s extremely hard working. People don’t realise the work he puts in. I’m so glad he’s got an opportunity after training week after week against the starters.’
The victory (and subsequent cancellation of the fixture between the Sharks and Western Province) ensured that the Bulls have topped the Currie Cup log with a round still to play.
This gives White the option of resting key players against the Pumas this coming weekend in preparation for the semi-final rematch against the Lions at Loftus the following week. He hinted that come the semi-final it might be a different looking Bulls side that would front the Lions.
‘The focus now is the semi-final and finding a way to beat the Lions. There were a couple of players I could have picked for this [the most recent] game, but their return to play protocols were not up to standard yet.’