Bulls chasing a 'perfect game'

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:37
Large flip van der merwe media Large victor matfield   flip van

Jan de Koning chatted to Bulls captain Flip van der Merwe about their second match on tour - against the Highlanders on Friday.

The Bulls may have hit a speed bump in their charge towards a possible play-off spot, but the men from Pretoria still have that goal firmly in their sights.

Their loss to the Hurricanes last week showed up a few flaws in their make-up and captain Flip van der Merwe said those were put under the microscope this week - as they prepared for another brutal arm-wrestle against a New Zealand team.

The Bulls head to Dunedin where they will take on the Highlanders in the competition's only indoor stadium on Friday.

Currently in sixth place on 17 points, the men from Pretoria know they can't afford another defeat - with three teams (Lions, Hurricanes and Blues) just a point behind (although the latter two have a bye this week), while the Highlanders are the real threat in 10th place (on 15 points).

The Bulls skipper, Van der Merwe said that win or lose, they will always back their systems.

"We are still chasing that perfect game," Van der Merwe said in a teleconference call from the team's training base in the holiday resort of Queenstown on the New Zealand South Island.

"We took out the good and the bad from last week's game [the 20-25 loss to the Hurricanes] and worked on that this week. We are working on improving the good aspects of our game and eliminating the bad aspects."

He felt that on tour lot of the focus is on the mental aspects of the game - to avoid the guys getting into the tourist trap of things and rather focus on the rugby aspects.

He said that while the short six-day turnaround - they played the Hurricanes last Saturday and now face the Highlanders this Friday - could sometimes be a little more taxing on the body, it will not affect them.

"We have become so advance in touring that whether we play at home [Pretoria] or play in Dunedin it is the same," Van der Merwe said.

"We have two days of brilliant training behind us and I feel the guys are looking pretty strong for the weekend."

He also dismissed the suggestion that the high tackle count from last week, when the Bulls made almost 200 tackles, would cause problems.

He suggested that when touring in New Zealand you will always be forced to make more tackles, Kiwi teams retain the ball a lot more.

"They certainly don't kick it away or gift you possession," the captain said.

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 20 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 14h45 Bloemfontein
TUT v WSU 16h30 Pretoria
UWC v Rhodes 16h30 Cape Town
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Durban
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 16h30 Stellenbosch
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Potchefstroom
UJ v UP-Tuks 17h00 Johannesburg
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9