Hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels believes the Vodacom Bulls will “come together and fix what’s wrong” after the Pumas mauling, when they face Western Province in Friday’s Currie Cup clash.
The Pumas laid waste to the Bulls in their opening round clash of the Currie Cup in Pretoria on Sunday, with the rampage from the reigning champions ending with the final score of 63-15.
It was the worst possible start to the competition for the Bulls under new coach Edgar Marutlulle, yet speaking in a Bulls press conference on Wednesday, Wessels is confident the men in blue can bounce back against WP at Loftus Versfeld.
“I don’t think there is something big wrong,” he told reporters. “Obviously losing by 40 points at the weekend is not good … It wasn’t a moment in which we lost the game, but a few sequences of moments where we lost the game that built up.
“I don’t think there is anything bad in the camp, or that it’s going terrible at the moment, or that there’s something wrong. You look at a lot of stuff when you’re losing, but I don’t think there’s something wrong.
“Individually as players and as a group at the Bulls, we need to come together and fix what’s wrong. I don’t think there’s a big thing that’s wrong, if you understand what I’m saying. I just think it’s individuals…”
On what to expect from a Province outfit that used their running game to dismantle the Lions 44-28 last week at Ellis Park, Wessels added: “[WP] also have a strong set-piece. Their front row and lineouts are in place, and their mauls are also in place.
“So, if we prepare like we should, and focus on that and pitch up for the game, we can make it as tough for them as they could for us.”
The 21-year-old also took stock of his personal development, having made the switch to hooker from loosehead prop after joining the Bulls straight from school with the hope of becoming a Springbok.
“It was a long process and there were times when it was difficult, but I think I am now in a good place in terms of playing at hooker,” Wessels said.
“The rest of the game actually stays the same … But in terms of the throwing-in and in the scrums, which are the primary roles of a hooker, I think I am doing well.
“It’s difficult if you make a lot of mistakes and your primary work isn’t going well, as a young player, something to learn is to still get involved in the game.
“But as the throw-ins get better, the better my rugby will become. You can’t let your whole game falter if you are battling with your throw-ins. Now that my throw-ins are better and I am getting more game-time, I would be able to get more involved in the games.”
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