The extent to which you create opportunities for yourself, but also for your opponents, will be critical in the Currie Cup rugby final between the Blue Bulls and the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Morris Gilbert writes in Beeld that this was the opinion expressed by both the coach and the vice-captain of the Blue Bulls on Wednesday.
Frans Ludeke and Fourie du Preez agree that finals are all about opportunities, but not only those you create for yourself.
“Just as you can create opportunities for yourself through good decision-making and tactical play, you can also concede the initiative to your opponents through bad kicking and turnover ball,” said Du Preez.
He believes, in fact, that the Sharks have just that ability to capitalise clinically on other teams’ mistakes, as happened, for example, in the semifinal when they scored that magnificent try in reply to the Lions’ goal from the next kick-off.
“The Sharks are not a good side only because they have good players. What makes them particularly dangerous is the great damage they can cause with possession from broken play. We’ll have to be very careful of their counter-attacking,” said Du Preez, the Bulls’ scrumhalf.
Ludeke, the Bulls’ coach, said that it is even more important in a final to use your chances well.
“It isn’t the end if the world if you don’t make use of every chance, because that would put too much pressure on any player. Even in finals there is usually a second chance, but it’s still important to try and do everything right the first time,” he added.
Du Preez referred to the semifinal, when the Bulls had to be satisfied with the proverbial crumbs in the first 20 minutes as far as possession was concerned.
“We were battling to get our hands on the ball, but nevertheless still kept the scoreboard ticking over – and only because we utilised the considerably fewer chances we had, that much better than the Cheetahs did,” said Du Preez.
He says he is up to the big task awaiting him in the final – he is, after all, a scrumhalf that is capable of rising to great heights in the tactical department.
“It has always been a strength of mine to be able to attack with the boot, and particularly in finals it’s very important to be at your best tactically.
“I don’t pay any attention to duels, but on the other hand it is also true that Ruan (Pienaar, his immediate opponent in the Sharks side) and I are the same kind of scrumhalf. This should place the tactical play of both of us even more in the spotlight,” Du Preez added.Tweet