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VIDEO: The ace up White's sleeve that caught Ospreys off-guard

REACTION: Ospreys didn’t expect the Bulls to vary their method of attack without Johan Goosen and probably caught everyone off guard in their United Rugby Championship clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, says Jake White, the Director of Rugby at the Bulls.

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In the build-up to the game against Ospreys, all the players that were interviewed harped on the physical onslaught they expected from the Welsh and predicted that the Bulls will have to front up and play a tight game.

But White had an ace up his sleeve – just like in soccer, the Bulls managed to create attack from defence by not only using their forwards, but also the high flying backs.

“When I spoke to the ref afterwards, he said it was amazing. He thought we were going direct and when he looked again, we were going around them,” White explained at the post-match press conference.

“We were flying down the side of the field.

“That says a lot, because that is how we want to play. We always want to make sure that we have variation to our game.

“We want to make sure that when people expect we will play with our forwards, we have to be good enough to do that. But also we have to be good enough when you expect us to play with our forwards, to play with our backs.

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“And I think we got that balance nice tonight,” the coach said.

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He explained that rugby is trying to catch up to soccer as they look at the ability of the soccer player to go from defence to attack and vice versa.

“A lot of teams are now looking at football.

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“The ability of a footballer to go from defence to attack or from attack to defence is something that a lot of sports people are writing about.

“That’s what rugby is trying to catch up. How quickly you get the ball back when you are defending and how long you can keep it when you are attacking.

“I am not giving a lot of trade secrets away. That’s what all teams are trying to do, is make sure you create as much attacking ability from defence.

“The balance was so good. Without Goosen everyone thought we might go the other way. It was a bit of a surprise element. I don’t think people expected us to play the way we did without Goosen.”

White applauded the Bulls’ attack coach Chris Rossouw for the way his team attacked, varying it between the forwards and the backs.

“Credit to Chris [Rossouw] for the way we attacked and credit for the way a guy like Reinhardt Ludwig understands the line-outs because we didn’t just try and maul everything.

“I think we mauled a couple in the beginning, they thought we were going to maul everything and the next play we almost scored from first phase because they expected a maul and they were obviously sucked into that line-out.

“So I think the variation of the way attacked also helped Chris [Smith] to make the right calls,” White reckons.

According to the coach, while Smith is the second choice flyhalf, he has experience on his side and he never doubted his abilities.

“The nice thing about Chris is he’s almost got 50 games. We’ve created an environment where, if you are the second choice flyhalf, and I don’t want to compare myself to other teams, but it is a fact, not many other franchises’ second choice flyhalf has got 50 games.

“It is one of those things you can never plan. But I was confident today that he has been there, he has played big games – bet Leinster in Leintser in the semifinal.

“It’s not like we’ve taken him out of nowhere and put him into that situation.

“And that is a secret to why I think we’ve improved this year – is because when we’ve used guys that has experience like him, it makes us so much strong.

“By this time next year hopefully those guys have got 20 odd games each and by the following year sort of 50 or 60 games and then the picture looks the same as it does for other teams.”

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