28.9 C
Saturday, October 1, 2022
HomeSportRussell Winter wants Bulls to turn up the heat

Russell Winter wants Bulls to turn up the heat

Russell Winter wants Bulls to turn up the heat

- Advertisement -

Cape Town – In the Jake White era at the Bulls, making the ball do the work on attack is not only the responsibility of the backs.

The forwards have had to add new skills to their overall make-up as well, in addition to their primary roles of jumping in the line-outs, pushing in the scrums, cleaning out rucks and making big hits in defence.

The likes of hooker Johan Grobbelaar, lock Ruan Nortje and captain Marcell Coetzee have been excellent proponents of that approach, with the skipper actually joint-top of the try-scorers’ list on 11 and leading the offloads list on 41 last season.

He was joined in the top-five in carries by Bulls teammate Elrigh Louw, while Kurt-Lee Arendse had the most clean breaks (24).

The Bulls ended second on the overall attack list last season, behind Irish giants Leinster, as they topped the offloads list (243), second in tries and points scored (74 and 588), third in clean breaks and metres gained (124 and 7 605) and fourth in defenders beaten (372).

Forwards coach Russell Winter wants to see an even greater improvement in that respect this season, as there were a couple of missed opportunities in last week’s 31-15 win over the Lions.

“Every side wants to work on their shape and attacking pictures that they create. Our forwards need to play that expansive game where they can throw passes and play that offload sort of game,” Winter said ahead of tomorrow’s showdown with Edinburgh at Loftus Versfeld (2.30pm kick-off).

“We want to be exciting. We know what our brand is, and we want to work and evolve, and make sure that we can build on what we did last year. If that means we need to be running the ball a little bit more, we will.

“I was happy (with the win over the Lions), because it was the first game of the season for us. We hadn’t even played a warm-up game … So, it was the first knock-out that the forwards had, and the timing in all our set-pieces was important for us.

“I’m glad we got it under the belt. It wasn’t a polished performance, but we can take that and work on it.”

Edinburgh beat the Bulls 17-10 in Scotland last October, and come off a 44-6 romp over the Dragons last weekend. They also have South Africans such as props Boan Venter, Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel in their squad, so they will know all about the physical challenge that will be presented by the Bulls.

Winter, though, has challenged his players to push the envelope on attack and make life difficult for the visitors at altitude, with a hot day and 29°C forecast for Pretoria tomorrow.

“Edinburgh are a good side. They beat us last year, and it was tough going down there. They also made the play-offs, and they were very competitive – just like us,” the former Lions No 8 said.

“It’s hot up here, and they’ve had a summer as well – but we’ve got the highveld, and this wonderful climate that we can use to our advantage. We hope to play a brand of rugby that’s exciting.

“We tried to, but I don’t think we were a complete product (against the Lions). We wanted to try and see if we could speed the game up, and make sure we could hold onto the ball.

“But at times, it didn’t work out quite like we wanted to. But that’s the way we want to play … We want to play an exciting brand, and hopefully we can hold onto the ball a little longer and create some good tries.”


Original Article

- Advertisement -
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

- Advertisment -