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VIDEO: Leinster the benchmark for Bulls says Jake White

REACTION: Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White has hailed Leinster as the benchmark as the two teams prepare for the top-of-the-table United Rugby Championship clash.

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At the back of a crucial 31-10 bonus-point win over the Dragons, the Bulls will seek back-to-back URC away wins when they meet Leinster this Friday in Dublin.

Leinster are at the summit of the URC table with 49 points after their win over Zebre at the weekend, while the Bulls are second with 45 points.

A win for White’s men will not only move them to the top spot but will give them the belief they can go all the way.

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“We got a massive game this [Friday],” White said following their win over the Dragons in Wales

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“We want to make sure we give ourselves the chance to finish in the top two because we know how important home play-offs are.”

The coach regards Friday’s encounter in Dublin as a litmus test for his Bulls team.

Leinster will welcome back a couple of international players following Ireland’s back-to-back Six Nations triumph.

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However, one can’t disregard the Bulls’ chances, especially given the two teams’ head-to-head record – two victories to the South African team in three matches.

“The match is a great benchmark for us to see where we are as a group,” White said.

“It is an away game against a really good team. The bulk of their team played for the Irish team who just won back-to-back Six Nations, and a bulk of that team has beaten the Boks in the World Cup.

“So I know it’s going to be a great test match for us and a test to see how great we are.”

Clever Dragons

Despite cementing the second spot, the Bulls could not get into second gear during the win over the Dragons.

The side was sloppy at times but managed to score a fourth try late in the game for the much-needed bonus-point win.

Reflecting on the 80 minutes, White admitted the Dragons posed a few questions that his side really struggled with.

“The Dragons knew they were not going to have their Test players back. They knew they had to get on with it and had three to four weeks to prepare for us and that’s what made it so difficult,” White admitted.

“They were clever in the way they played against us and everything was a contest.

“They didn’t let us get any rhythm, We have been playing well from quick ball and that was one of the games they targeted. Set-piece was also difficult to get the ball out.”

He added: “The bottom line is we found a way to get through that game with problems we haven’t experienced before.

“It was the first time a team did certain things to us at scrum time and breakdown time, but we found a way.

“I do feel we took too long to find a way – the whole first half and a bit of the second half –  so hopefully this is a learning curve.

“We have to adapt a bit quicker.”

 

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