Desperate Bulls ignore the boos

Sat, 06 Oct 2012 10:52
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Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar knows that his team have to take every chance they get if they want to win the Currie Cup, even if it does not please the fans.

Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar knows that his team have to take every chance they get if they want to win the Currie Cup, even if it does not please the fans.

With the Pretoria side languishing in last place on the Currie Cup log before the start of the penultimate round of the league phase, their desperation paid off as they kept their play-off hopes alive with a 26-13 victory over Western Province on Friday.

Pienaar said that while the victory was a relief, he knows that his side have a lot of work to do if they want to advance in the competition.

"We need four wins in a row if we want to win the Currie Cup and if you fail with one you are out," Pienaar said.

"I am relieved about the win and at times we played good rugby.

"But we put ourselves under pressure and our discipline cost us a bit in the second half with the penalty try we conceded," he added.

Despite their dominant performance, the Bulls' conservative approach did not go down well with certain sections of the Loftus Versfeld crowd who did not appreciate flyhalf Louis Fouche's frequent use of the boot.

Pienaar said that his team had to take every opportunity that came their way against a Western Province defence recognised as the best in the country, and explained that Fouche's drop-goal attempts were part of the strategy.

"Only the Sharks have scored three tries against WP and we knew we had to win to keep ourselves in the running for the Currie Cup," he said.

"We said it was the way we wanted to play and we wanted to put them under pressure."

"We said if we get a penalty we would try and build an innings and the people booed Louis at one stage," Pienaar said.

"We felt if we did not get on the front foot he would get back in the pocket and go for the drop.

"That is what he did and it came close and if it was over he would have been the hero, but that was our message."

The Bulls still face an uphill battle to secure a play-off spot when they play defending champions and log-leaders, the Golden Lions in the final round next week.

"We know next week will be even tougher against the Lions," he said.

While Province remained in third place after Friday's action, their position could change after Saturday's other matches.

Province coach Allister Coetzee conceded that his side made matters difficult for themselves ahead of the final round of matches.

"We would have liked to have been in a situation where we could play for a home semifinal but unfortunately we now have to win the last match to make the play-offs," Coetzee said.

"We are looking forward to our match at Newlands and we have to make amends, and there is still a chance next week.

"I believe that we still have three matches left for this season."

The Capetonians will play the Free State Cheetahs at home in their final round match before the play-offs.

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8