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What Jake White stuck on the changing room wall to motivate his Bulls players in the Rainbow Cup

By RugbyPass
(Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

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Jake White is renowned as a coach with a knack for motivating his players. The Bulls’ Director of Rugby pulled one of his special ‘tricks’ out the hat at the weekend, resulting in the Pretoria-based outfit doing a demolition job on the Sharks – writes Jan De Koning


The organisers of the two-tiered Rainbow Cup competition last week revealed that planning is at an ‘advanced stage’ to stage an historic North versus South Final on June 19 – ensuring the dual tournaments, operating in Europe and South Africa, will produce one winner.

The Northern representative in the Final shall be the team who finishes first in the table among the 12 teams in the Pro14 Rainbow Cup, while the Southern representative shall be the side who ranks first in the Rainbow Cup SA competition.

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The Final will take place in Europe. White wasted no time using last week’s announcement to get his players worked up for their top-of-the-table clash with the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld at the weekend.

“I just cut it [the announcement] out and stuck it onto the change room door, when we got to the stadium,” he said in the wake of his team’s comprehensive 43-9 win over the Sharks.

“[I was] hoping [that the cut-out on the door would make] the players realise the massive opportunity for them to play against a Northern Hemisphere side.

“Everyone is hoping to play overseas and it is fantastic for this group.


“Hopefully we will get a chance to measure ourselves against a Northern Hemisphere side.”

White admitted that despite sitting in prime position at the top of the standings, his team has a long way to go before realising their dream of playing in a ‘Final’ against a champion from the north.

“This can change quickly in a week,” the Bulls coach said, adding: “I thought the Lions were unlucky [losing 37-39 to the Stormers through a penalty after the full-time hooter].


“They [the Lions] will be fronting up at Ellis Park this [coming] weekend as well.

“We are not going to be jumping [up-and-down with joy] too soon. We will still have to get the job done.”

The Bulls face the Lions (Ellis Park), Stormers (Loftus) and Sharks (Kings Park) in the second half of the campaign.

He spoke about the “frustration” of the first half, in which the bounce of the ball did not go the Bulls’ way, but said he was “proud” of how his team finished off – in the wake of their 43-9 hammering of the Sharks, after leading just 12-9 at half-time.

The one concern from the match is the hamstring injury of Springbok loose forward Arno Botha.

White said he is not sure how serious it is, but he doubts it will be a ‘long-term’ lay-off.

“He will have a scan and then we will know,” the Bulls boss said, adding: “Hopefully it is one of those four- to five-week injuries.”

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What Jake White stuck on the changing room wall to motivate his Bulls players in the Rainbow Cup