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VIDEO: What the Bulls missed against Munster

VIDEO: The Bulls missed the calm heads of experienced captains to navigate the wily tactics of Munster at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

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Jake White, the Bulls’ Director of Rugby, elaborated on the challenges the team had going into their United Rugby Championship encounter with a Munster team brimming with Irish internationals and out to bully the relatively young Welsh referee Adam Jones.

According to White he could hear the frustrations of Jones as the Munster players tried to intimidate him.

Jones was also the referee when the Bulls played against Zebre in the URC in 2022.

At the time White, when asked about the prospects of having a 28-year old as the referee back then, he said he wanted his players to simply start fronting up to different referees if they are to make real progress in the tournament.

On Saturday the head coach of the Bulls felt the youngsters he had on the field were not equipped to deal with the forward notions and dominating tactics of their opponents.

“I heard him [Adam Jones] at one stage. He was giving them the gears for shouting at him. And so obviously that was one of their tactics,” White told the media after the match.

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“You miss the caliber and experience of the two captains who didn’t play,” White said, referring to the absence of their co-captains Marcell Coetzee and Ruan Nortjé due to injury.

“We missed those sort of calm heads in those pressure situations.

“I needed one of the guys that’s been around to go to the ref and say ‘what do you think’.

“Because that’s what really good and experienced captains do.”

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Another senior campaigner, Springbok Marco van Staden, is also out with a knee injury.

“They are a quality team. They won this competition. They are consistently at the top end of most competitions they play in.

“You’ve got the captain of Ireland playing there, RG Snyman has won two World Cups.

“A guy like Connor Murray has played for the British and Irish Lions more than once.

“It’s part of the growth of our squad. You take out Marco and Ruan Nortje, all of a sudden we look a little bit young. I am talking about game feel and experience.

“And that’s what they’ve got. They were very composed.

“At one stage were 10-7 up and it didn’t look like they were panicking. And before you knew it, we were 17-10 down, literally in the last ten minutes of the first half.

“That’s what good teams do. Good teams will get to the back-end of the first half and put you under the pump.” White expressed.

He was quick to remind one and all that they are still very much in the hunt and not out of contention in the URC.

“We’ve got to make sure Monday we get to work. We still have four games and within those four games we still can create pressure at the top of the log.

“And that’s what we have to do – try and finish as high up as we can and who ever we play in the quarters and semifinals that we are going to be good enough.”

 

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