By Lucky Maree
If you’re of the opinion that the coach must take the knock when things go wrong, then you have to say the coach must take the punch for the pathetic performance by the Blue Bulls last week.
Jake White has adopted a “problem, what problem?” attitude, but the way things are going in the Bulls camp, White must find the answers – and not by blaming the players.
Early on, Chris Smith, somehow always in the shadow of Morné Steyn, starts a great backline move that ends in a try for Sbu Nkosi on the left wing. Positive signs for the Bulls.
Again the Blue Bulls start a promising move but Province eighthman Keke Morabe picks up a loose ball. He streaks like a wing down the left touchline, finally handing over to Paul de Wet who scores near the posts.
Two good tries in the first ten minutes promises a good contest. Province lead by five points.
After 18 minutes Ruhan Nel does great work, running straight through the Bulls defence and hands the ball to Kade Wolhuter to run in for the try.
The Bulls are better than last week (they couldn’t very well be any worse) but their midfield defence is woeful. Against a team like the Western Province that could make for a long night for the Bulls.
The Bulls work hard to give Cornal Hendricks a straight run between two defenders and he scores at pace.
Again Ruan Vermaak attacks down the middle and clears the path for Zak Burger to score under the posts.
The Bulls lead 19-18 at halftime and deservedly so.
Within two minutes Province are back in the lead as Ruhan Nel goes over on the touchline for a converted try.
The try by Bulls hooker Johan Grobbelaar means trouble for Province. The Bulls, looking stronger and stronger, look as if they could do that a few more times in the remaining 30 minutes. Chris Smith converts from the tryline and the Bulls are ahead by one precious point.
The Bulls’ scrum dominates and big Francois Klopper seems impossible to stop as he scores next to the posts.
Against the run of play, Province score as Jean-Luc du Plessis does miraculously well and Clayton Blommetjies scores in the corner. The Bulls are once again ahead by that one single point – but just for a minute as Province take the lead through a penalty.
Province look as if they’ve got the message that they can’t win an arm-wrestle against the Bulls’ forwards and go wide whenever they can. It may just work.
A penalty gives Province a five point lead with ten minutes to go – but they spend the time mostly in their own red zone.
When Bismarck du Plessis comes on with seven minutes to go it’s like Batman has come onto the park – such is his presence. He makes a trademark turnover but also concedes a penalty in front of the posts.
Province have an eight point lead which they hang on to until the final hooter.
A better performance by the Blue Bulls (much better) but the boys from Cape Town score a very important Currie Cup win.
Blue Bulls (5 tries) 33-41 (4 tries) Western Province.
Pictured above: Western Province touching down
Image source: Currie Cup