Jake White: 'That is how you play rugby'
REACTION: Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White said his team’s 44-10 win over the Sharks in Saturday’s Currie Cup Final was close to a perfect performance.
The 34-point winning margin on Saturday was a Currie Cup final record, eclipsing the 30 points by which the Bulls defeated Western Province 41 years ago.
It was the first time a team has won back-to-back titles in 17 years and it is also the first time a team has won the Currie Cup twice in one calendar year in 130 years.
The title decider in January also involved the Bulls and the Sharks and went to extra time before the Pretoria franchise prevailed 26-19 thanks to a final-minute try.
White praised everyone involved in Saturday’s massive achievement.
“That was probably very close to a perfect performance based on the fact that when you get chances you take them and when you get to ask questions defensively you make the right reads and you don’t give soft penalties away,” said White.
“I think we only gave away two offside penalties tonight [Saturday], which if you are going to be really critical, we got to be sharper on that.
“As coaches, we are never happy, but that is how you play rugby and that is how you create massive amounts of confidence and massive amounts of cohesion and it can only get better.
“Once they [players] see it works then they buy into it and all credit to the coaching staff. Russell [Winter] has taken charge of this relatively young forward pack.
“Joey [Mongalo] was working hard on the defence after we leaked too many tries in the last couple of games.
“I am very proud that it is a back-to-back result. It hasn’t happened for 17 years. We want to be the best club and we want to make sure that we build a bit of a legacy.”
The Sharks’ big mistake
The Sharks started the game with a lot of intent and they dominated possession and territory in the first half. However, they could not find a way past a strong Bulls defence.
White believes the visitors had the wrong approach.
“We played at altitude and with them keeping the ball I could see they were probably dead on their feet after the first 15 minutes because altitude catches you.
“A lot has been written this week about how they were not going to go into their shell and they were not going to play Test rugby.
The fact that we could counter that and defend and keep our shape and not let them go around us as they have with other teams – the altitude then gets to them and then when they are dead on their feet you have the ability to pounce on them.
“Our first two phase plays in the first half led to one try by Harold [Vorster] and one try by Lionel [Mapoe]. It’s sort of like punch and counterpunch when you can defend like that and then put them under the pump fatigue-wise and then take that chance and finish them off with 12 points,” said White.