The Bulls have already broken their 10-year trophy-drought this season by winning the Super Rugby Unlocked title, but at the end of the day, the Currie Cup is the big prize they are after, according to coach Jake White.
The Bulls won the Super Rugby Unlocked competition by four points and those points were then carried over to the Currie Cup. White’s charges have subsequently finished top of the log in the Currie Cup as well, but this time they have to get through two knockout matches to claim the silverware, starting with their semi-final against the Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re not trying to be arrogant, but we said at the start of the season that we wanted to play in the final and win the Currie Cup. So we’ve now got two weeks left to play, whether you look at this season as one or two competitions or two competitions in one, at the end of the day we are in the playoffs. Now we want to get to the last round and win the trophy,” White said this week.
“We’ve done the hard work to get into the final, we’ve put the hard yards in to justify home advantage. The reality is we’ve got a lotto ticket for the last two rounds, hopefully we stay alive after this weekend. There won’t be any crowds but I still think it’s a massive bonus for the guys to sleep in their own beds, be in their own changeroom … all the little things.”
While the 2007 World Cup winning coach acknowledged that it was far from a fait accompli that the Bulls would achieve their goal, White did make their journey in 2020/21 sound somewhat miraculous.
“I’ve coached in competitions before where the first and second team on the log don’t play in the quarterfinals, they go straight to the semis and get a week off. But sometimes the team that finished first on the log doesn’t win, there are still no guarantees even if you finish first,” White said.
“But this team really want to win the Currie Cup, they want to be part of history and write their own script.
“No-one expected us to do so well. I’ve had seven months to work with this group and in the last 10 years the Bulls had not won a senior trophy, we lost five of our six Super Rugby games last year and finished sixth in the Currie Cup in 2019, losing to Griquas at Loftus.
“So other teams were far ahead of us and I’m very satisfied with how things have gone. But we haven’t really won anything yet,” White said.