Bulls plotting to curb WP's X-factor

Wed, 11 Sep 2013 16:21
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The Blue Bulls have been plotting all week on how to negate Western Province's powerful three-pronged pace attack.

The Blue Bulls have been plotting all week on how to negate Western Province's powerful three-pronged pace attack.

Bulls coach Pine Pienaar, speaking to this website ahead of Saturday's big north-south Currie Cup derby in Pretoria, said they have spoken about a 'blueprint' on how to deprive Province's back three of scoring opportunities.

Fullback Gio Aplon, along with wings Gerhard van den Heever and Cheslin Kolbe, have been in dazzling form in the first half of the season.

That is why the Bulls have placed a premium on discipline and defence ahead of the Loftus Versfeld showdown.

"Western Province have certainly changed their attacking gameplan somewhat," Pienaar said.

"With ball in hand they have outstanding players, men who have the X-factor and who put you under pressure.

"That is why, this weekend, our discipline and accuracy, especially with our kicking game, will have to be outstanding - otherwise players like Gio Aplon, Cheslin Colby and Gerhard van den Heever will cause major problems.

"They [the back three] already ask some big questions of your defence and can place you under tremendous pressure."

Pienaar said their planning this week focussed a lot on how they will handle the broken field play.

"We need to ensure WP have as few opportunities as possible in broken field play."

The Bulls, after an encouraging draw with Western Province in Week One, went into a slump and managed just one win (a sloppy victory in a tryless game against Griquas), before finally finding some form with a 26-10 demolition of the Free State Cheetahs last week.

Trailing 3-5 after a scrappy first half, the Bulls flipped the switch and scored 20 points in the last half-hour to race away from the Cheetahs.

Pienaar said it was a collective "decision" by the players in the dressing room that resulted in the dramatic turnaround.

"The players, themselves, were very angry at half-time with the number of mistakes we made," the Bulls mentor told this website.

"We had 12 turnovers in the first half and all that saved us was our scrambling [defence], which stopped the Cheetahs from scoring more than just one try.

"That was the big discussion point among the players at half-time. They just decided to simplify it even more, make it easier and get more direct. We knew we had to look after the ball and that worked very well."

He said their discipline after the break was another standout feature of the game.

"We conceded just one penalty in the second half," Pienaar said, adding: "That already made a huge difference.

"The defence was also outstanding and we secured a number of turnovers by putting them under pressure at the breakdown."

By Jan de Koning

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Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1