The Bulls' talisman
REACTION: The Bulls are in the driving seat to win the Super Rugby Unlocked title and Marco van Staden has played a key role in getting them into that position.
The Bok loose forward has been outstanding in the tournament, especially in his team’s 30-25 victory over the Lions over the weekend.
He terrorised the Lions at the breakdown and he was an aggressive figure on defence.
“He has probably been the most consistent player for us this season,” said Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White.
“He is always a threat. He carries well and his breakdown skills are phenomenal. He has a lot of one on ones with the breakdown coach, so what’s really happening is he is making such great calls as a defensive jackal as well.
“It is not just going into every single breakdown, it’s the way he understands his role and he understands the timing of what he does.
“Whether he goes in, falls around the corner and waits for the next breakdown, I thought he’s getting better and better at that all the time. He was outstanding.”
White was pleased with his team’s character at Ellis Park after the Lions went into the break 15-10 ahead.
“To get an away win is obviously fantastic. I was just really proud of the way we came back in the second half,” said White.
“I think it was two different teams that played. It is not an excuse, but we had a lot of disruptions. We lost our hooker on Thursday, then we lost a flanker in the first five minutes of the game and then we lost both props.
“A lot was asked of the bench and the guys that came on. Everyone knows they’re still a relatively young group of players. To get them to play 40 minutes of rugby like that when they haven’t really spent much time on the field as a unit is obviously very pleasing.
“It was a tough game and I’m just very happy that we got the result. Sometimes you got to win those sorts of games ugly – it’s not always going to be one-sided.”