Here comes the running of the Bulls

Fri, 11 Oct 2013 11:11
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The need to win and score a four-try bonus points the Blue Bulls may just become a bit more 'expansive' than usual.

The need to win and score a four-try bonus points the Blue Bulls may just become a bit more 'expansive' than usual.

It is literally do-or-die when the Free State Cheetahs host the Bulls in their final Currie Cup league match in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

A solitary bonus point would be good enough for the Cheetahs to advance to the knockout stages, while the task is much more challenging for the Bulls.

The visitors would need a five-point victory and a winning margin of more than 11 points. They would also need to prevent the Cheetahs from scoring a bonus point if they were to advance to the semifinals.

Bulls coach Pine Pienaar said they have had an expansive approach all season, but it just didn't always come off.

"It may not always seem like it from the outside, but our structures and approach have always been that if there is space we attack the space," Pienaar told this website, ahead of their trip to Bloemfontein.

"However, you first have to see, if there is no space in front of you, that you turn the Free State [Cheetahs] around and then ensure your defensive system backs up our kicking game.

"If our defence and kicking game are good, it creates opportunities for us to turn the ball over."

Pienaar said there won't be too many kicks at goal for three-pointers on Saturday.

"You can accept that for most part we will go for the touchline [set up line-outs] rather than kick at goal," he said, given the Bulls' need to score four tries.

"However, if we do kick for touch we need to ensure your line-outs work.

"We have to ensure that, on the day, all aspects [of our game] is 100 percent, otherwise we will put ourselves under pressure.

With the Cheetahs featuring an all-Springbok front row and the Bulls' scrums having been an issue at times this season the set pieces could be a decisive aspect of the contest.

"In some games certain aspects of our game were very good and other aspects were not," he told this website, adding: "The next week we worked on that [which went wrong] and attempted to fix it. Then the next game another aspect went awry and required some attention.

"I don't think our scrums were that bad against the Sharks [last week], but our line-outs were not up to standard.

"As I said, [this Saturday] we have to ensure that all aspects of our game function properly.

"We are well aware the scrums will be a massive challenge, because we have a Springbok front row against us.

"We will have to ensure we are accurate at scrum time, ensure all our set pieces are good enough and when we have the ball we must  retain it.

"It is a fact that it all starts up front."

By Jan de Koning

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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