Marais: Bulls must give nothing away
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