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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Jake White wants Bulls troops to fire shots at Leinster in Dublin

"We are going to have to match them in areas where they are really good, and we are going to have to stop them."

Bulls director of rugby Jake White knows his team are faced with a huge task against Leinster in their United Rugby Championship top-of-the-table clash on Friday at a sold-out RDS Main Arena (9.35pm).

Leinster have been among the most prolific performers in the URC since the inception of the competition two seasons ago. They have continued with their impressive form this season as they have ascended to the top of the points table with 49 points, with the Bulls following them in second place with 45 points.

However, despite knowing they are facing a well-oiled machine that thrives on excellent system rugby, White wants his charges to take out their arsenal and fire shots at Leinster in an attempt to stop them from getting into their normal game rhythm.

“The most important thing is we must at least give ourselves a chance. We don’t want to come here and not fire a shot, so that would be one message to our players. It’s a great opportunity for us to give it a go,” White said.

“We are going to have to match them in areas where they are really good, and we are going to have to stop them from doing what they want to do as well.

“The one thing we have seen is that when they get the game flowing and the rhythm of the way they want to play, they are as good as any team we have played if not better than any team we have played against.

“I don’t think it’s a like boxing heavyweight fight where it’s toe to toe, I think it’s a reality of being smart and taking your opportunities.”

All departments must function

Leinster are known to be a well-coached side, strong offensively and in defence. They have a strong set-piece and are stacked with a lot of internationals in their ranks. They also move the pace of the game at a quick rate resulting in the opposition suffocating.

White wants his team to be solid in all departments on Friday and not give Leinster a chance to exploit them. If they do that, White believes they have a chance of winning.

“All the departments of the game are important for us to try and close down that space and understand they can’t get any rhythm,” he said.

“The one thing that comes up is stopping them from playing with a rhythm that would sum everything. Whether it’s stopping them at source, set piece, or getting in amongst them in multi-phase, it’s just basically breaking up the rhythm of the game. That would be the key to whether we are going to be successful or not,” said the Rugby World Cup-winning coach.

Bulls team

Willie Le Roux, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie, David Kriel, Devon Williams, Johan Goosen, Embrose Papier, Marcell Coetzee (Co-Capt), Elrigh Louw, Marco van Staden, Ruan Nortje (Co-Capt), Ruan Vermark, Wilco Louw, Akker van der Merwe, Gerhar Steenekamp.

Bench: Johan Grobbelaar, Simphiwe Matanzima, Mornay Smith, Reinhardt Ludwig, Mpilo Gumede, Zak Burger, Chris Smith, Harold Vorster.

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