Bulls assistant coach Johan van Graan has admitted that his team’s forwards have been found wanting over the last week or so.
Van Graan says some harsh words had been spoken to ensure the Bulls pack lives up to its reputation as one of the strongest in the series. They take on the Waratahs in an important Super14 game in Sydney on Saturday, writes JJ Harmse for www.sport24.com.
“We realise mistakes were made against the Crusaders. We did not scrum well and lost possession twice in the scrums, while they got all their balls. We also lost three lineouts and a restart. That’s not good enough and we know that,” said Van Graan.
Van Graan’s colleague, Pieter Rossouw, said on Monday that the backline was not happy with the quality of possession it is receiving from the forwards.
Van Graan believes it will be different against the Waratahs.
“We worked very hard. I’m happy that we had a good week,” he said.
He believes looseheads are currently getting the benefit of the doubt over tightheads at the scrums.
“I did analyse the scrums and feel referees are not penalising the looseheads enough because of illegal scrumming. That goes for everyone, not just the Bulls,” he said.
The Bulls know what to expect from referee Jonathan Kaplan this week.
“We are not expecting any favours. We will have to play positively and gauge early what he will allow,” said Van Graan.
He believes the Waratahs’ scrum is the best in the Super14 together with that of the Sharks. However, he feels there are weaknesses in their lineout play that can be exploited.
“We saw something there that we can exploit to our advantage. They also defend really well,” said Van Graan.
Bulls centre Wynand Olivier agrees. “They are physical and the low scores against them bears testimony to how well they defend. However, we can score tries if we play to our potential,” he said.
Olivier would like to put in a few big hits. “I want to make a bigger contribution on defence and am working hard with our defence coach John McFarland to improve my timing and technique.”
Olivier is not happy with his form, even though many experts believe it to be exceptional.
“I believe my tactical kicking is not at the desired level,” he said.Tweet