Bulls' belief got them home

Sun, 08 Sep 2013 13:11
Large bulls maul630 Large bulls v cheetahs3 Large bulls v cheetahs2

Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar said that his team's belief was the key to their strong second-half performance against the Cheetahs.

Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar said that his team's belief was the key to their strong second-half performance against the Cheetahs.

After a disappointing start to the season the home side made a major statement by dominating the set-pieces and holding off a more experienced side.

Two second-half tries from Junior World Cup-winning forwards Paul Willemse and Wian Liebenberg was enough to seal what was just their second victory this season.

Pienaar complimented his charges for the way they absorbed the pressure from the visitors to grind out the victory.

“In the first half we played well, it didn't look like it, but we went through the phases and we got the turnovers,” he said.

“The message the whole week was to keep that focus up and keep working and believe it is going to turn.

“The message at half-time was that we had to grind it out and we had to work harder.”

The Pretoria side moved into fifth place on the log, six points adrift of Western Province, while the Cheetahs dropped from second place to fourth on 12 points.

Pienaar said his team's patience paid off in the second half as they put in an improved performance thanks to better ball retention.

“The guys showed tremendous character on defence, we played against one of the teams that play with the most flair in the competition,” he said.

“There is a lot of stuff that we have to work on if we want to stay in the running.”

The Bulls' forward pack in particular laid the foundation for the victory as they dominated almost every facet of play.

The Bulls mentor felt the victory would instil some confidence in his team, who were battered in the two preceding matches against the Golden Lions and Sharks.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge for us in the Currie Cup and it still is, so they need to believe in their own ability,” Pienaar said.

“Hopefully tonight with the win, it can settle that belief and say we can go a long way, with the performance we put up tonight there is no reason for us not to do that.

“There are no excuses for us anymore, the boys have learnt and they now have five senior games behind them so it is important that we make a step-up in our performance every week.”

The Bulls will face Western Province at Loftus Versfeld next Saturday.

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Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
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Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26