Away victories now crucial for Bulls

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:47
Large nollis marais bulls glares 800

CURRIE CUP REACTION: Blue Bulls head coach Nollis Marais believes his side is in a do-or-die predicament after their 40-41 defeat at the hands of the Free State Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld.

The Blue Bulls have now lost three consecutive matches - two at home. Marais believes they should have won those two home matches and will now have to bag a few away victories to remain in touch with the log leaders.

"We are seven points off the pace [behind leaders the Cheetahs], so we will now have to win some away matches. Losing two home matches that we should have and could have won is not acceptable. We can't afford to drop any points down the line and have to start winning the close matches.

"We can attack but we can't defend like we have. At 40-31 [ahead], we should have killed the game," Marais said.

Marais identified the ease at which the Cheetahs broke the gain line as a crucial area that cost the Bulls dearly.

"We allowed them to break the line too easily and then we started those chip kicks which gave the ball to Rosco Speckman and [Makazole] Mapimpi, which was never the plan. [When you do that], you are in trouble cause they are quick. 

"It's fine to score 40 points but when you leak more points, we just lost again because of that," he added.

Blue Bulls captain Burger Odendaal focused on his side's ability to rack up yellow cards.

"We are making it difficult for ourselves with all the yellow cards we are getting week in and week out. That's the next thing we need to focus on, we can't go into a game and get two or more cards and still expect to win," Odendaal said.

Despite the negatives, Marais made special mention of Jamba Ulengo and debutant Janco Venter.

"Jamba played a lot better than last week. In the first half he chipped ahead when he shouldn't have but he saved two or three tries and showed how fast he is. He is getting into his best form again. 

"Janco did well for his first game, despite making one or two defensive errors but that is expected in your first game for another team as you try to adapt to the new system," Marais said.

@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26