Mixed feelings for Jake White after Bulls’ win over URC pacesetters Glasgow Warriors

David Skippers
Jake White and Bulls players in URC.jpg

Bulls director of rugby Jake White and his players, in action in the United Rugby Championship.

Bulls director of rugby Jake White admitted that he had conflicting feelings after his side sealed a 40-34 triumph over Glasgow Warriors in Pretoria on Saturday.

Although White’s troops did well to come away with a bonus-point victory, the Warriors put up a brave performance and left Pretoria with two bonus points of their own which keeps them at the top of the United Rugby Championship (URC) standings.

Leinster also showed their class as they notched an impressive 61-14 bonus-point win over the Ospreys but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Warriors at the top of the table.

Tight at the top of the table

Glasgow are currently setting the pace with 60 points amassed from 16 matches played while Leinster are in second position, just one point adrift, while Munster – who also clinched a 47-12 home win over Connacht – are in third spot on 58 points and the Bulls are in fourth place, two points behind the defending champions

Things could have been different on the table if the Warriors did not deliver a strong finish in their clash against the Bulls. Franco Smith’s charges scored three tries in eight minutes to get within six points of their hosts after trailing 37-10.

“I’m happy and sad, I know its weird. I told them in the change room,” said White after that encounter. “I thought for the first 60 minutes we were outstanding.

“I thought that was the best rugby we’ve played in a long time. Defensively we had their number.”

With the game in the bag, the Bulls took their foot off the pedal in the final quarter and that allowed their opponents to finish stronger.

“I just thought we got naive at the end when we kicked contestables when we had the game won,” said White.

“That kept them in the game because we weren’t kicking it out for a line-out because that takes up time. We started giving them the ball on the halfway line and that is what they wanted.

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“The intercept too, we didn’t need to play there,” White said in reference to a Sebastian Cancelliere try for the Warriors scored from the halfway line in the 69th minute.

White bemoaned the fact that his team did not tighten up defensively once they had their commanding 27-point lead by the hour mark.

“I hate myself for saying this but we could have been more conservative at the back end of the game,” he said.

“It is one of those challenges that you have because we are such a good attacking team. It’s a really good example of when we’ve got to have leadership on the field that call what we are trying to execute.”

Bulls leadership group challenged

The 60-year-old said he had challenged his leadership group regarding their decision making in the game’s latter stags.

“I said let’s meet on Monday and go through scenarios where we are in the same situation in big games,” he revealed.

“We need a game-plan where everyone is on board. There is no right and wrong. I just want the players to be on the same page.”

Despite their poo finish, White was delighted to secure five maximum points against the URC‘s table-toppers.

“We would have taken five points against the team that is top of the table,” he added.

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