The main problem that the Bulls face after five successive Super 14 defeats is not whether they still have the will to win, but whether they still know how to win.
This is the view of Henning Gericke, who served as team psychologist with the Springbok team at last year’s World Cup tournament, according to Morris Gilbert, writing on News24.
“I have strong ties with many of the Bulls players,” Gericke said on Wednesday. “I wish I could say there was a magic wand to fix everything. Unfortunately, there is not.
“The Bulls are now in a process in which suffering may be the best medicine in the end.”
The former star athlete understands what Bulls coach Frans Ludeke is going through.
“Frans is correct in saying that this is not the time to make panicky leaps. The Bulls merely have to focus on the right things and must learn how to remain patient and calm.
“When the Springboks won the World Cup last year, few people remembered that they had been beaten 49-0 in a Tri-Nations Test by Australia the previous year.
“Those were desperate times but we managed to emerge from the hole because every player was totally honest with himself the next week.
“We also lost the next two Test matches, but came away with much more honour.
“I do not think the Bulls have reached the stage where fear of failure is bigger than their will to win.
“But one can see their previous strong point is absent this season – their formidable team dynamics.
“I have always admired the almost brotherly ties between the Springboks in the Bulls team.
“They did not exaggerate when they spoke of themselves as a happy family because they played for each other. This resulted in complete trust in one another and an outstanding internal belief and calmness.”
Gericke said he might be wrong but at the moment the Bulls did not seem to be a happy family but rather a group of individuals who try to make a difference on their own.
“Every player feels it’s his fault that the team is not doing well and therefore he should try so much harder to make a difference.
“This leads to over-eagerness and the imbalance of much fire and almost no water. The many cards they have conceded proved this.”
Gericke also spoke out for the senior Bulls players who had received much criticism.
“I can say without any fear of contradiction that the Bulls players that I have worked with do not shirk anything. They are proud and performance-driven.”Tweet