Smith: Bulls no longer boring

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:58
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Not only must the Chiefs deal with the Bulls' fearsome physicality, but also with their ever-improving expansive game.

Not only must the Chiefs deal with the Bulls' fearsome physicality, but also with their ever-improving expansive game.

The Chiefs, struggling to come to terms with their uncharacteristically flat performance against the Western Force in Perth last week, travel to Pretoria where they will take on a Bulls team that dismantled the table-topping Sharks.

Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith, who said they had been brutal in their assessment of the poor performance that led to their Super Rugby upset loss to the Force, warned about assumptions that the Bulls were just a forward-oriented team.

"They've actually moved the ball quite a bit and have got quite a potent backline," Smith told the New Zealand media in the build-up to their Loftus Versfeld outing on Saturday.

"They're quite a multi-faceted team."

One positive to come from the Force game was the lack of further injuries to a squad badly hit in both pre-season and early season, with all players on tour this week available for selection, despite a hamstring strain keeping Tim Nanai-Williams out of training.

He felt that if the Chiefs go into the match against the Bulls as they did against the Force they would be a "no show".

"We've been pretty brutal about that with the team, so we've just got to prove we can get back to the levels that make us proud and go from there."

The Chiefs' set-piece play, in particularly the line-out, has been an ongoing area of concern this season and the Force exploited that with their driving play from that platform, also an area of strength for the Bulls.

"We're going to be up against the best line-out in the competition and with probably the best line-out forward in the world running it in Victor Matfield, so that's a huge challenge for our forwards.

"But we've had a lot of these challenges before and what we do know about this team is that there's plenty of character . . . we've just got to execute better under pressure. It'll come."

Smith said the Chiefs could not afford to give "dumb" penalties away virtually anywhere on the field because the Bulls would kick to the corners and drive from the resulting line-outs.

Source: Fairfax NZ News

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Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26