The Jake White factor in Bulls v Sharks quarterfinal
SPOTLIGHT: Jake White’s experience in navigating teams through play-off games will come in handy for the Bulls.
The Bulls will host the Sharks in a United Rugby Championship quarterfinal this coming weekend and White certainly has the upper hand over his coaching counterpart Sean Everitt.
White has had success with several teams in different leagues around the world and more recently the Bulls have won the last two Currie Cup finals against the Sharks.
Bulls lock Walt Steenkamp knows first-hand how valuable White’s experience can be in these situations.
“Jake is a great coach. He won the World Cup and he took the Brumbies to the Super Rugby Final,” said Steenkamp.
“He also had a final in the Japanese League and a [Challenge Cup] final in France.
“He knows what it takes to play finals rugby.
“He gives you the tools and you have to execute it.”
Steenkamp said it was a big achievement to qualify for the play-offs in their first season in Europe.
“From a personal point of view, I played Pro14 with the Cheetahs and I never achieved it.
“For the Bulls to achieve it in their first URC season is great.
“We just have to get the job done on Saturday and from a team point of view, everyone is on the same page.”
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Counting down to the Quarter Finals – 5 days to go 🔥#OurSharksForever #TacklingNewShores Vodacom #URC pic.twitter.com/2Ccc4SkAIt
— The Sharks (@SharksRugby) May 30, 2022
In their last meeting in the URC, the Sharks came out on top with a 29-22 victory at Loftus Versfeld. It was a match where the Bulls played most of the match with 14 men after an early red card for Morne Steyn.
It was also a match where the Bulls battled up front.
“The Sharks have a very good scrum and I think we gave away four or five penalties in that area when we last played them,” said Steenkamp.
“That’s an area we are focussing on.
“We also played for more than 60 minutes with 14 men in that game, so we will have to watch our discipline.”