Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
29 Apr 2022
9:51 am

White eager for Bulls to use set-piece strengths against Glasgow

Ken Borland

The visitors’ lineout is led by veteran lock Richie Gray who has played 67 Tests for Scotland.

Embrose Papier feeds the Bulls scrum during a recent URC match against the Lions. Picture: Gallo Images

The Stormers showed last weekend just how effective a powerful scrum is against the Glasgow Warriors, but Bulls coach Jake White also wants to use the lineout to attack the Scottish playoff contenders in their United Rugby Championship match at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.

The Glasgow scrum struggled to take the heat put on them by Frans Malherbe and Steven Kitshoff in Cape Town, but White said on Thursday that the Bulls did not have the luxury of Springbok props, so they would be looking to the lineout to also put the Warriors under pressure.

The visitors’ lineout is, however, led by the lighthouse-like figure of veteran lock Richie Gray, who has played 67 Tests for Scotland.

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“We don’t have the luxury of a great scrum with incumbent Test props, but we need to find a way to use it as an attacking platform, be clever with it and not just use it to bail us out and get a penalty,” White said.

“It’s a significant difference between how rugby is played locally and overseas, where the scrum is used as an attacking platform, compared to being used here as a way to get a penalty and territory.

“But the lineout can also be used as a different form of attack, like the Canterbury Crusaders or Leicester Tigers do – you can maul, go off the top, come round the front or the back, or use overthrows.

“It’s an area of the game that has changed a lot because the referees are strict on the backs not coming in too soon. So you can have changes of tempo there and you can play quickly if you want.”

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While the selection of a counter-attacker like Canan Moodie to replace the injured Kurt-Lee Arendse at fullback shows that the Bulls will still want to give the ball plenty of air, especially if Glasgow – who like to kick for territory – are inaccurate with the boot, White said he had chosen Morne Steyn as his starting flyhalf for a specific reason he did not want to divulge.

Perhaps Steyn’s ability to mail monster kicks deep into opposition territory and then putting the Warriors lineout under pressure is the reason.

And then when the visitors are ailing from altitude in the second half, impact players like Chris Smith, Cyle Brink and Harold Vorster can come off the bench and play some exciting rugby.