Secret behind Bulls' comeback win over Stormers
REACTION: Jake White’s Bulls are on the verge of clinching their third historic accolade in South Africa.
Since Jake White joined the Bulls as Director of Rugby, the Pretoria side have been crowned the Currie Cup and Super Rugby Unlocked champions and this weekend they have a chance to bag the inaugural Rainbow Cup SA honours.
The Bulls, who are currently top of the standing with 20 points, face second-placed Sharks in the final round.
A win for the Bulls will see them head to Italy to contest the ‘North v South’ Pro14 Rainbow Cup final.
While a bonus-point win for the Sharks will see them crush the Bulls’ hopes.
The Bulls secured a narrow 31-27 win over the Stormers at the weekend.
The encounter was very entertaining, as the Stormers almost clinched a remarkable win at Loftus Versfeld, but in the end, a last-minute try by the Bulls’ hard-working lock Ruan Nortje ensured they kept their grip firmly at the top of the table.
The men from Pretoria had the most possession and territorial advantage, and while they clearly wanted to score tries, mistakes and wrong options almost cost them dearly in the end.
“I am really, really proud. The boys stuck at it. There were a lot of opportunities – I think there were four tries disallowed,” White said at the post-match press conference.
“At one stage, we had made 20 tackles and they had made something like 115-120 tackles in the first half, so we made it hard for ourselves.
“But I said before the game that the Stormers are a really good team – lots of Springboks all over the field. The coaching staff have been together for about six years and coached a lot of these players at junior level. I have aged, but I am really chuffed that we got the result.”
The Stormers took a 17-7 lead at the half-time break, but White’s men put in a storming second-half effort to walk away with a victory.
While maintaining a level of discretion about his half-time speech, White opened up about what was said to his players.
“I told the guys at half-time, if you want to win the match you will have to believe.
“I always believed that we will win the match and after the match, I told them, I saw it in their eyes that they believed me as well.
“This is a special group of players and they have proven it.
“They have produced comebacks on a couple of times and have shown teams they don’t lie down and die.”