Smith: Bulls no longer boring

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:58
Large wayne smith chiefs

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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 25 May 2018
Crusaders v Hurricanes 07h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sunwolves 09h45 Melbourne
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sat, 26 May 2018
Chiefs v Waratahs 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Highlanders 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Bulls v Brumbies 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 14h00 London
Stormers v Lions 15h15 Newlands
Leinster v Scarlets 17h00 Dublin
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 1 4 31
Rebels 11 5 0 6 25
Reds 11 4 0 7 18
Brumbies 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 0 9 10
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 46
Hurricanes 11 10 0 1 45
Highlanders 11 7 0 4 32
Chiefs 11 7 0 4 32
Blues 12 3 0 9 17
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 7 0 6 36
Jaguares 12 7 0 5 29
Sharks 12 5 1 6 28
Bulls 12 5 0 7 24
Stormers 13 5 0 8 23