Smith: Bulls no longer boring

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:58
Large wayne smith chiefs

Not only must the Chiefs deal with the Bulls' fearsome physicality, but also with their ever-improving expansive game.

Not only must the Chiefs deal with the Bulls' fearsome physicality, but also with their ever-improving expansive game.

The Chiefs, struggling to come to terms with their uncharacteristically flat performance against the Western Force in Perth last week, travel to Pretoria where they will take on a Bulls team that dismantled the table-topping Sharks.

Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith, who said they had been brutal in their assessment of the poor performance that led to their Super Rugby upset loss to the Force, warned about assumptions that the Bulls were just a forward-oriented team.

"They've actually moved the ball quite a bit and have got quite a potent backline," Smith told the New Zealand media in the build-up to their Loftus Versfeld outing on Saturday.

"They're quite a multi-faceted team."

One positive to come from the Force game was the lack of further injuries to a squad badly hit in both pre-season and early season, with all players on tour this week available for selection, despite a hamstring strain keeping Tim Nanai-Williams out of training.

He felt that if the Chiefs go into the match against the Bulls as they did against the Force they would be a "no show".

"We've been pretty brutal about that with the team, so we've just got to prove we can get back to the levels that make us proud and go from there."

The Chiefs' set-piece play, in particularly the line-out, has been an ongoing area of concern this season and the Force exploited that with their driving play from that platform, also an area of strength for the Bulls.

"We're going to be up against the best line-out in the competition and with probably the best line-out forward in the world running it in Victor Matfield, so that's a huge challenge for our forwards.

"But we've had a lot of these challenges before and what we do know about this team is that there's plenty of character . . . we've just got to execute better under pressure. It'll come."

Smith said the Chiefs could not afford to give "dumb" penalties away virtually anywhere on the field because the Bulls would kick to the corners and drive from the resulting line-outs.

Source: Fairfax NZ News

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 10 December 2016
Ulster v Clermont Auvergne 13h00 Kingspan Stadium
Munster v Leicester Tigers 15h15 Thomond Park
Racing Metro v Glasgow Warriors 16h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Saracens v Sale Sharks 17h30 Allianz Park
Zebre v Toulouse 20h45 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Sun, 11 December 2016
Wasps v Connacht 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Montpellier v Castres 14h00 Altrad Stadium
Toulon v Scarlets 16h15 Stade Felix Mayol
Exeter Chiefs v Bordeaux 17h30 Sandy Park
Fri, 16 December 2016
Glasgow Warriors v Racing Metro 19h45 Scotstoun Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9