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Jake White denies his Bulls were 'outmuscled' in Limerick

By Warren Fortune
Ruan Nortje of Vodacom Bulls after his side conceded a first try during the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and Vodacom Bulls at Thomond Park in Limerick. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Bulls director of rugby Jake White once again preferred to focus on the positives after his team produced another poor performance in this season’s United Rugby Championship.


The Bulls were woeful in most areas of the game against Munster in Limerick on Saturday and they eventually fell to a 17-31 defeat.

It is their second defeat on tour after they went down 21-35 to Glasgow a week earlier.

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While there was more than enough to leave the Bulls’ fans worried about their team, White believes his team played well against the Irish giants.

“I don’t think we were outmuscled today [Saturday] at all,” White told reporters after the match. “We probably played quite well at times. Defensively we leaked a couple of tries again from close quarters, but they are a good team.

“They got six forwards on the bench, they got internationals – I think one player has more Munster games than our whole team put together in the URC.

“I am proud of the way the guys fought back. It’s a good learning curve for them.


“It’s not ideal. You don’t like to lose, but we were here this time last year when we lost to Leinster 31-3 in the first game and we ended up playing Leinster in the semifinals, so there is still a long way to go.

“Munster are not going to be at the bottom of the log. They will definitely be near the top.”

White explained that the backbone of his team is still young and he prefers to be a “realist” about his team’s performance.

“I don’t want to keep repeating myself, but we are still a long way from where we need to be.


“We got young guys in certain positions. If you look at our No.2 [Jan-Hendrik Wessels], No.8 [Elrigh Louw], No.9 [Embrose Papier] and No.15 [Kurt-Lee Arendse], they are youngsters and that is the backbone of any team.

“Munster had internationals at No.2 [Niall Scannell], No.8 [Gavin Coombes], No.9 [Craig Casey] and No.10 [Joey Carbery].

“I am a realist about where we are as a team and they showed that they can play.

“Conditions probably didn’t help us. We probably kicked a little bit inaccurately, but again it is difficult.

“There was such a strong wind that if you kicked contestables, you could have ended up with the ball coming back to you.

“And therefore if you kick it a bit long, it looks like you have given the opposition a free run.

“It is difficult, but when you got Conor Murray and the players that they have, then you get used to those conditions.”

On the two forced substitutes at the half-time break, the Bulls mentor said: “Cornal [Hendricks] felt a bit of a tight groin, so we did not want to risk him.

“Johan [Goosen] fell on his back shortly before the half-time break and [subsequently] did not pass his HIA test.”

The Bulls next face Benetton on Friday at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo in Italy.


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