The Bulls had stretched Griquas to almost breaking-point in the first half of their Currie Cup clash at the weekend, but then allowed the visitors to come roaring back in the second half, coach Jake White making no bones about how disappointed he was with his players for some dumb moments both in discipline and in defence.
It was one-way traffic in the first 40 minutes at Loftus Versfeld as the Bulls cruised to a 36-5 lead with some clinical rugby. They extended their advantage to 41-5 early in the second half, but then two yellow cards in three minutes – to prop Lizo Gqoboka for collapsing a maul and to wing Madosh Tambwe for a deliberate knock-on – caused a total shift in momentum.
In the end Griquas were able to score six tries and the Bulls were relieved to win 48-38 in the end.
“Griquas made the Currie Cup semi-finals last year so they’ve showed they can play,” White said. “But with a URC team playing against a Currie Cup side and leading 36-5 at halftime, you would think you get a lot more out of the second half.
“Instead Griquas really got a roll on in the second half, which was very disappointing. The players must be proud to play for the Bulls, but they did not show that in the way they defended. They know how I feel about it because I let them know – we cannot defend like that.
“When it becomes too easy, you can play a bit too loose and that played into Griquas’ hands. It’s even more of an indictment that we were so far ahead, because that’s when you have to keep them out.
“And we speak about discipline every week but we had two yellow cards when we were more than 30 points ahead and not under any pressure. It was just too easy, it’s not as if they were pounding away at us,” White said.
While Tambwe’s yellow card came when he went for an intercept but could not hang on to the ball, killing a Griquas overlap in the process, the French-bound wing looked the classiest player on the park.
“Madosh has just improved so much,” White said. “His sheer understanding of what to do in defence killed a lot of Griquas’ attacks and he showed a real touch of class in setting up Canan Moodie’s try.
“His work-rate is also exceptional. We definitely want to keep him … maybe there will be some visa issues that keep him here … ” White joked.