Jake White: It’s all about wins

Every position in the URC table could change this weekend, according to a stat seen by Jake White.

Jake White says the Vodacom Bulls need no more motivation than the potential of securing a top-two finish and the SA Shield when they face the Sharks in Durban this afternoon.

The Vodacom Bulls will take on the Sharks at Kings Park in a derby that will have major implications for both the Vodacom URC log and the SA conference.

Currently sitting in second place, the Bulls could secure a home semi-final with a bonus-point win, while a first-placed finish would be on the cards, if league leaders and defending champions Munster lose to Ulster.

“It is massive,” White said. “It’s interesting, I saw a stat this morning that said every position in the URC table can change this weekend. That’s incredible, if you think about it.

“There are just two wins that separate the first team from the eighth team on the log. It’s all about wins now. You have to make sure you win your games.

“It’s important in more ways than one. We need to stay where we are. The wins are also what separate teams that are tied on points. It’s not points difference first.

“We know that it’s never easy to come and win in Durban. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us. If we win, we get the conference and a chance to stay second on the log, but if things go well, we could finish top of the log.

“There isn’t much more motivation that we need.”

The Bulls currently lead the way for tries scored in the competition, but White expects contests to be much more tightly contested from here on out.

“Whether you want play-off games to be attractive, and we all do, naturally what happens is it gets tighter,” White said. “Look at the world cup, there was just one point in the quarter-finals, semi-final and final.

“It just shows the margins get tighter and the pressure gets bigger. So this is a bit of a trial run for us. There is pressure, because we want to win the conference. There’s also an opportunity to host a semi-final.

“So there’s a lot to play for and with that comes a different question to answer when you are in that situation.”

This article first appeared in SA Rugby magazine.

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