VIDEO: Long way to go for 'robust' Bulls

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 11:07

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Bulls may be stronger and fitter in 2018, but head coach John Mitchell believes his side still has a long way to go before they become real contenders for the Super Rugby title.

Mitchell has been shaking things up since his arrival in Pretoria last year in a bid to turn the Bulls back into a rugby powerhouse.

The Bulls were Super Rugby champions in 2007, 2009 and 2010. However, they have been in a steady decline over the last few years.

"We still got a long way to go," Mitchell told reporters in Pretoria.

"We built some solid foundations, we've tried a different approach and we think our athletes are really healthy. We think they have become more robust. 

"We worked heavily on our individual skill sets and there is a great attitude amongst the group." 

Mitchell added: "I think we selected some really quality men in this group who are really keen to become cohesive and connected. 

"Obviously pressure will challenge us as well and the trials will challenge us, which we need. We need to be put under stress over the next four weeks before we go into the competition."

Bulls co-captain Burger Odendaal believes last year's Currie Cup tournament has prepared some of the Union's young talent for the rigours of Super Rugby. 

"I think the Currie Cup was a good stepping stone for us and I think it was vital for a couple of the young guys getting the opportunity to play - now they are first in line, so they have to play against the big guns this year. 

"I think the guys are really looking forward to it," said Odendaal.

The Bulls start their Super Rugby campaign against the Hurricanes in Pretoria on February 24.

@rugby365com

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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
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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