The Nyakane factor fired up Bulls

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 11:27

REACTION: Trevor Nyakane may not be everybody's cup of tea as a tighthead prop, but he is a valuable asset to the Bulls.

A relieved Bulls coach Nollis Marais - speaking in the wake of his team's 26-13 win over the Jaguares at the weekend - said Nyakane is making good progress in his transformation from loosehead to tighthead in the front row.

The 27-year-old Springbok - with 26 Test caps off the replacements bench and two starting as a loosehead prop - was crucial to the Bulls' ability to bounce back from a disastrous tour of New Zealand.

Nyakane secured three crucial turnovers in the victory over the Jaguares at Loftus Versfeld and also made 13 tackles.

"I feel Trevor had one of his best performances in the scrums and also on defence," Marais said.

"He made a huge impact on the team," the coach said, adding: "A player of Trevor's calibre you don't find everywhere.

"I have huge respect for him.

"A lot of people said he won't be able to convert to tighthead. He was up against one of the best scrums [in Super Rugby] and was really brilliant.

"All credit to him, Pierre [Schoeman], Lizo [Gqoboka] and Martin Dreyer."

However, Nyakane may not feature when the Bulls run out against the Cheetahs in Pretoria this coming Saturday - as he is due a rest as per the Super Rugby franchises' agreement with the Springbok coach.

Marais added that his team still needs to be more clinical.

He felt they need to turn the three-pointers into seven-pointers.

"We have to put teams away when we are ahead," Marais said.

"It [the victory] was important, to ensure the players can see some progress.

"Luckily we have a lot of home games now and that is important.

"The Stormers lost at home [this past weekend] and they have a tough tour ahead. We have had our tour and we know how tough the travelling is."

Captain Adriaan  Strauss echoed similar sentiments, saying the team still needs to "convert better", but he was happy with the win.

"We have the belief in ourselves and we knew we were capable of better rugby than what we produced," Strauss said.

"It is good to enjoy that moment [victory] on the field."

@rugby365com

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Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Waratahs 9 3 0 6 13
Reds 9 2 0 7 11
Force 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 8 1 1 6 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 9 9 0 0 41
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 10
Sunwolves 9 1 0 8 6
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 8 0 1 37
Sharks 9 6 1 2 28
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 20
Kings 9 3 0 6 15