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
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14