Jake White says Duane Vermeulen’s inside knowledge of the Vodacom Bulls will factor into his team’s preparation for Saturday’s clash with Ulster.
A magical performance from Kurt-Lee Arendse helped the Bulls claim a bonus-point victory over Dragons in Pretoria on Saturday, their third consecutive win in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship. But, White has already turned his attention to Vermeulen’s Ulster.
Vermeulen, who skippered the Bulls before joining Ulster for the 2021-22 season, returns to Loftus Versfeld after Saturday’s 23-20 defeat by the Stormers.
“I watched that game with interest and I thought they were very unlucky and there will be a lot of debate about that final try,” the Bulls boss said. “Had they scored there, they would have won the game, but it’s going to be a tough game and they’ve also got Duane.
“He’ll know a lot more about us more than any other player. He was the captain here and knows the intricacies of everything we’ve done in the past two years. That’s something we’ll have to think about, but it won’t get any easier because if you want to be in the playoffs, you’ll have to play the big Irish teams again.
“We’ve got to be good enough at home and make sure we prepare as well as we can because it’s a home game. We’ve left the door open for ourselves. We must make sure we don’t close it.”
The Irish teams are proving their mettle in the URC, with Leinster, Ulster and Munster occupying first, second and third places on the log, respectively.
“To win this competition, you’ve got to have an all-round game and teams like Leinster have been successful for a reason,” White said. “They can attack from all over and they can also score from five yards with pick-and-drives. We just need to make sure we grow in every department.
“I don’t think there’s one area that we’re struggling in specifically, but it’s about making sure we get right everything that we need to do.
“We, too, have to play in the mud and the wet and it’ll be a different game as compared to the one we played.”