Smith: Bulls no longer boring

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:58
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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

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
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Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
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Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
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Kings 12 2 0 10 9