White's blunt admission after defeat to Lions
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: It seems to be a case of ‘just words’ and very little action as the Bulls suffered another defeat at Loftus Versfeld.
The Bulls headed into the fixture in desperate need of a win but instead it was the Lions who started the match with pure grit and determination.
The visitors made most of their point-scoring changes, taking a 23-13 lead at the break.
The Bulls managed to put up an encouraging comeback for a 25-23 lead in the last quarter of the match.
However, two late penalties by Lions scrumhalf Sanela Nohambe made sure the Gauteng side secured a 29-25 win at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Fronting reporters, Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White could not hide his disappointment, especially with his team’s first-half performance.
The boss said it seems like at the moment the players’ words don’t match their actions on the field.
“Second half we look desperate to come back, the first half we probably didn’t look like we were,” White told reporters after the match.
“A high tackle, a knock, it was the little things.
“For instance, we get a penalty on the halfway line right at the beginning of the game, and Morné Steyn taps and runs it, and we knock it on. From that scrum, we high-tackle and they get three points.
“[As I said], I don’t think we were desperate enough in the beginning. I think it was just words, and that’s why we feel a little bit disappointed – because we can’t just say things and not understand.
“Before the game, [we said] ‘Please guys, watch, they are going to tap and run every free kick and penalty’, and as true as nuts, the first time they do it, they go and score.”
He added: “The Lions had a lot to fight for and credit to them.
“They showed us that they can win a game like that”
🎙️Ruan Nortje’s assessment of the game 🎧
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) March 4, 2023
The Bulls managed to outscored the Lions four tries to two which is a positive for White.
“The positive is we stuck in the fight and we scored four tries and had one disallowed,” said White.
“We have to stay positive. It will turn. Just look at the Stormers who lost to Benetton last year and went on to win the competition.”
The Bulls are in sixth place on the overall URC log
The side still has their playoff hopes in their own hands with three round-robin games left.
The last three fixtures see the Bulls face Ulster away before hosting, Zebre and Leinster in Pretoria.
*Photo credit: @BlueBullsRugby