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Jake White not to blame for Bulls problems

By Chris Jones
Harold Vorster of Vodacom Bulls after his side's defeat in the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and Vodacom Bulls at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU) president Willem Strauss has insisted that veteran coach Jake White should not be hammered for a disappointing season for the South African outfit and told critics “the Bulls will be back!”

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The Bulls season ended with a 39-10 Currie Cup semi-final loss to the Cheetahs while they left the United Rugby Championship at the quarter-final stage beaten 33-21 by the Stormers in Cape Town and lost 33-9 away to Toulouse in the Champions Cup round of 16.”I am not shying away from the unfortunate truth that the senior team has had a very disappointing season, but to single out the head coach with often harsh criticism is not only counter-productive, but the easy way out,” said Strauss in a statement from the Bulls.

“At the Bulls we believe in collective ownership and accountability. We win together, and we lose together.

“How taxing 2023 has been on body and mind is evident from the fact that the first year in which the four SA URC provinces participated in three different competitions, none of them managed to win a single title! That is no coincidence.”

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“Since the dawn of the new BBRU administration in 2019 and Jake joining us in 2020, the Bulls have won 60% of all national competitions. During this period, the BBRU’s programmes for club rugby, junior rugby, mini-rugby, Get-into-Rugby, etc. excelled to such an extent that they are now rated as amongst the best in the world.

“Our structures are still aligned with great shareholders, leadership and ambition. The Bulls will be back!

“To put our performance record in perspective, it must be noted that between 2011 and 2018 the Bulls took part in 42 competitions winning only four junior and no senior titles.”

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Under White, the Bulls won the Currie Cup in 2020 and 2021 and they also won the 2020 Super Rugby Unlocked event.

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Jon 4 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

> it was apparent Robertson was worried about his lack of experience at half-back, hence the decision to start veteran TJ Perenara and put Finlay Christie, the next most experienced number nine, on the bench. I don’t think it was this at all. It was a general scope he was putting over all the playerbase, he went with this cohesion factor in every position. > If the main priority is to build different tactical elements to the gameplan, then Ratima is the man in whom Robertson needs to trust and promote. This also I think is antagonist towards the reference game plans. The other plans do not need the speed of which Perenara (atleast) can’t provide, and I think personal is going to be the main point of difference between these games/opponents. That is the aspect of which I think most people will struggle to grasp, a horses for course selection policy over the typical ‘Top All Black 15’. That best 15 group of players is going to have to get broken down into categories. So it test one we saw Christie control the game to nullify the English threats out of existence and grind to a win. In test two we saw Ratima need to come on which dictated that this time they would run them off their feet with speed and the space did open up and the victory did come. Horses for courses. The same concepts are going to exist for every group, front row, lock and loose forward balance, midfield, and outside backs all can have positional changes that the players may be asked to accentualize on and develop. There might be some that _it_ will not ever click for, but they’ll hopefully still be getting to enjoy unbelievable comeback victories and late game shutouts to close it down. Knowing does not mean not enjoying.

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