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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Jake White: Bulls need to be street smart against the Stormers

The Bulls coaching team will be banking on the experience of a few Springboks coming off the bench in the latter stages of what should be a tight match.

Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, is asking his players to be street smart in certain game situations when they take on the Stormers in a North-South derby on Saturday in the United Rugby Championship at a full Loftus Versfeld (5:05 pm).

The Bulls have been in great form in the URC; they are in third place with 35 points and will look to extend their momentum with a win over the Stormers, who are in sixth place with 30 points.

What has been impressive about the Bulls this term is the balance they have struck between youth and experience.

White started at the Bulls a few years ago with a fairly young core, and over the seasons he has grown his squad, and gradually recruited seasoned professionals to boost the age average of the team, and that has proved successful in this season’s URC campaign.

‘Head must be in the game’

The youthfulness of the Bulls had often let them down against the Stormers in the past, as certain plays or calls didn’t go their way due to a lack of experience. Looking forward to Saturday’s clash, White is hoping his side can be street smart against the Stormers.

“We have got to come with our game head on, we have lost to them a few times, and the times we have lost to them, it has almost been through an inexperience of understanding what’s happening around one,” White said.

“Sometimes it’s the experienced players, it’s not always the inexperienced guys that have done it.

“We just have to be more street smart, that’s basically the message. We just have to be a little more street smart about what we are trying to do and what we got to do to make sure they don’t get it right,” said.

Bulls’ ‘Bomb Squad’

The Rugby World Cup-winning coach is anticipating a tight game and will look to his experienced bench to make an impact late in the match. White is counting on hooker Akker van Merwe, loose forward Nizaam Carr, and fullback Willie le Roux to marshal the team to victory in the second half.

“If you have Akker van der Merwe, Nizaam Carr, and Willie le Roux on the bench, you’re talking about three experienced Springboks that are going to be there at the back end of the game,” he said.

“It could be tight at the end, and it generally is, and if you look at the games there haven’t been many blowouts against us, it’s always been close. So, to have the leadership we have and those three Springboks coming off the bench is going to be vital.

“The last time we played the Lions, Akker came on and made a massive impact. It’s a wonderful thing for me to have three Springboks (on the bench),” White said.

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