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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28