United Rugby Championship: Director of rugby Jake White pleased with brutal Bulls performance

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Bulls head coach Jake White said that he was pleased by his side’s performance as they ran in six tries to thrash Cardiff 45-9 in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Bulls were brutally efficient in the second half of their final United Rugby Championship match before the Champions Cup next weekend, with fly-half Johan Goosen kickstarting the second half with a well-taken try two minutes after the break.

Breakdown battle

White hailed Cardiff‘s fight at the breakdown in the first half and applauded his side’s ability to make the most of their opportunities in the second period.

“I thought they started really well, and Cardiff are a good side; they’ve beaten the Stormers and the Sharks. They attacked our breakdown heavily in the first half, and we couldn’t get any rhythm,” White explained.

“The message was in the second half to stay up longer in the contact, make sure you buy some yards and don’t go to ground too early, and we got the rewards in the second half.

“It’s obviously a pleasing result to win with six tries and not concede one. There’s a lot of positives we can take out of that.”

It was a drastic change of fortunes for Dai Young’s side, who comprehensively defeated the Sharks 35-0 last week.

Keeping Cardiff out

Bulls captain Ruan Nortje said that his side was well aware of the threat the Welsh side posed but that they had planned for a testing start to the clash.

“We knew Cardiff was going to come [at us]; that first half was just about keeping them out,” Nortje said.

“We worked so hard this week, and we knew it was going to be a tough game, so we are very chuffed with the result.

“[Also] always good to get a try in front of your fans. The boys set it up, and I could just convert.”

Goosen shines

The Bulls pack laid the platform up front, and their talisman capitalised, scoring 16 points, including a well-taken try early in the second half.

The 30-year-old playmaker had a hand in the first three Bulls’ tries as he created the space for Kurt-Lee Arendse to slice through the defence and assist Canan Moodie’s first try.

He then produced a neat offload for Arendse to score the second and dummied past three defenders to score the third himself.

He slotted all of his attempts on goal before making way for Chris Smith in the 62nd minute with his side 31-9 up with a bonus point in the bag.

Up next

The Bulls’ focus now shifts to their opening Champions Cup tie against current Challenge Cup champions Lyon in Pretoria on Saturday.

The French club currently sits sixth overall on the Top 14 standings and heads into the fixture off the back of a shock 19-7 defeat to Bayonne.

READ MORE: Manie Libbok scores a sensational solo try against Dragons

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