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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

David Kriel opens up on Bulls’ winning start to URC season, starring at No 12

A poor finish to the last URC campaign has been one of the driving forces in the Bulls squad this season.

The Bulls have emerged as one of the early favourites to go all the way in the United Rugby Championship (URC) thanks to an impressive start to the season.

The Pretoria-based franchise are on top of the URC log after winning three of their first four games. They have most recently picked up back-to-back wins on tour against Zebre and Cardiff.

There are encouraging signs for the Bulls. They are playing positive rugby at the moment and will be joined by four Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks in Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie, Kurt-Lee Arendse, and Marco van Staden in the coming weeks.


Bulls utility back David Kriel elaborated on what has been the key to their early season success, pointing out a strong preseason and last season’s poor conclusion as the driving forces.

“The preparations as a whole (have been god). We tried a few things in the preseason and with the start we have had, it shows that it is working,” Kriel told the media.

“The main thing that stood out for me was reflecting on our past season … from the Bulls’ point of view, last season wasn’t a big success. We didn’t achieve what we set out at the start of the season, so we did some introspection and we have worked on getting better at what we were lacking last season.

“We are still continuing with it, we just want to build the best team possible this season going forward and, hopefully, reach our goals,” he said.

Utility player

Kriel has proved to be the ultimate utility backline player in recent years, playing in every position in the backs except scrumhalf and flyhalf. This season, he has run out in the midfield and has proved to be an ace, playing an influential role in attack and defence.

“It’s been quite a while since I have been covering a few positions,” he said.

“Every week for me is the same prep work. I also go through what I have to know if I’m going to be playing 12 or 13 or wing. I always make sure I know what’s happening in each position. It’s always better to be fully prepared for whatever scenario might happen,” he said.

At the moment it seems as if Kriel has made the No 12 jersey his own. The 24-year-old is a revelation and a breath of fresh air in the position, different from the traditional big man inside centres.

“I’m not the biggest 12 out there … maybe mine is not a bashing a guy game, but using my feet better. It’s all about knowing what type of player I am, what I’m good at, and what my weaknesses are and improving them,” he said.

The Bulls conclude their four-week overseas tour on Friday night when they take on Scottish side Edinburgh at the Hive Stadium.

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