Marais: Bulls must give nothing away

Sun, 07 Aug 2016 07:16
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REACTION: Blue Bulls head coach Nollis Marais had mixed feelings after his team's winning start in this year's Currie Cup Premier Division.

The Bulls got their campaign off to a perfect start as they defeated Western Province 45-26 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday and managed to bank all five points on offer as they outscored their opponents by six tries to four.

The game was all but over at half-time as the Bulls raced into a 24-0 lead before Western Province made a late comeback which ensured that they walked away with at least a bonus point for scoring four tries, something which Marais was not impressed about.

Speaking to media after the match, Marais said that he welcomes the five points. However, he pointed out that there are still areas of his team's game which need to be fine-tuned especially after conceding 26 points in the second half.

"We get the five points but there are things we need to work on," said Marais. 

"I'm not happy about the 26 points, we were conservative and took a lot of guys off because of injuries and I think we lost a bit of momentum, but five points in the first game at home is good for us so I'm happy about that," 

Marais further added that it was mission accomplished for his team in their first game of the Currie Cup Premier division, but he is aware that the Cheetahs will pose another big challenge when the two teams clash in Bloemfontein in Round Two.

"When we play here [Pretoria/ Loftus] we want to win so it's a good win for us to get five points, but I'm disappointed that they (Western Province) got one point out of it but that's also something that we will sort out but at home it's very important to get five points. 

"We got the Cheetahs next week away in Bloemfontein and it's going to be a tough challenge as well," said Marais.

The Bulls will be confident ahead of their clash with the Cheetahs next weekend as their most recent visit to Bloemfontein was back in July when they beat the Cheetahs 43-17 in their final game of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

By Josh Isaacson

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Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Argentina v New Zealand 17h10 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 7 7 0 0 34
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Sharks 7 5 0 2 25
Western Province 7 4 0 3 23
Golden Lions 7 4 0 3 22
Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
Boland 7 2 0 5 9
Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
EP Kings 7 0 0 7 1