South Africa

White hails Bulls defence for showing ‘superior discontent’

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Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, hailed the defensive efforts of his players in their 25-20 win over Leinster in the semi-finals of the United Rugby Championship on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.

The Pretoria-based team pulled off an unbelievable win against a Leinster side full of Irish internationals.

The victory secured the Bulls a place in the final, where they will host the Glasgow Warriors, who defeated Munster, at Loftus Versfeld this coming Saturday at 6pm.

Ahead of the Bulls’ showdown with Leinster, their defence had been a concern, proving to be a liability in the URC run-in and the 30-23 quarter-final win over Benetton.

With the calibre of players Leinster boasts, the Bulls were expected to be under immense pressure. However, the Bulls demonstrated ‘superior discontent’, showing great determination in their defence.

‘You can’t beat SA players when they defend’

According to White, the Bulls players decided they were going to put their bodies on the line during the warm-ups when they saw their opponents running through their drills.

“Our players looked into their eyes and knew they were going to defend. One thing about a South African player, when he decides to defend, it becomes very difficult to beat them,” White told the media.

“I said, ‘Why don’t we defend like that every week? I can’t understand why we don’t.’

“We looked like they were never going to score against us, to be fair. There was a time we defended for 20 phases, and then Nizaam (Carr) got the ball and kicked it down the field. It’s a challenge, and I’m really chuffed to push them every single weekend.

“I want to know why we don’t get up for every game or defend our try line like we did against Leinster,” he said.

Praise for big props

The bench had recently faced criticism for allowing teams back into games; however, they played their part in the team’s win over Leinster, proving to be solid in the final 20 minutes of the game.

White praised replacement props Francois Klopper and Simphiwe Matanzima for their contributions.

“I was very happy with the second front row; I thought Simphiwe and Francois Klopper were outstanding.

“What I really enjoyed about them is they didn’t make any mistakes; they carried well and didn’t lose the ball in contact, which is what they have done in the last couple of weeks.

“Klopper made a tackle against a backline player on the halfway line, and Simphiwe did the same, tackling on the edge against a back who thought they could beat him for pace. I was happy with the way the bench has grown.”