Bulls can improve – Pienaar


But if they are to record their third consecutive win in this year’s Currie Cup, against Western Province on Saturday, then they will need to defend with the same intent.

The Bulls have been ruthless on attack and have managed to comfortably secure bonus-point try wins in their two games against the Free State Cheetahs and Griquas – accumulating 93 points in the process.

And they have been equally good on defence – conceding the least number of points (31) while only conceding three tries.

“I think against Province you definitely need to have a balance and we must make good decisions,” said defensive coach Pine Pienaar.

“I think it is going to be a massive set-piece battle and it will also be a battle of the little opportunities that you get and how you use them. We also will need to shut them down when they have the ball. It won’t be just attack or defence that wins the game, but the side that utilises its chances.”

Even with the strides that they have made this season – from being considered no-hopers to now being early pacesetters and seen as play-off contenders, Pienaar believes that there is still room for improvement on attack and defence and they will need to be at their best throughout the game on Saturday.

“There are certain areas of the game where we are still below par but the boys have certainly bought into what we want to do.

“Here and there against the Cheetahs and Griquas it came together and hopefully now against Western Province we can put up an 80-minute performance,” Pienaar said.

The defensive coach, though, has been impressed with the attitude of the new crop of Bulls players and their willingness to put in the same effort on defence as they do on attack.

At the same time Pienaar believes that Western Province will pose a different and tougher test than that of the Cheetahs and Griquas with the men from the Cape prepared to use their expansive game with their elusive and dangerous runners in their backline.

“I think the attitude of the boys has been tremendous and the structural changes that have been made have benefited the team. There are still a few areas we want to work on but the players – defensive- wise – they work for each other and have pitched in during the first two games.

“Western Province ask a few questions on attack and they have arguably the best back three in the competition, so the boys will really have their work cut out for them.”

The Bulls are likely to make few changes to their starting team with the only amendments coming in at centre – where Dries Swane-poel is likely to replace the injured William Small-Smith – while Junior Springbok Roelof Smit will come in for Deon Stegmann. - The Star

Original source: Bulls can improve - Pienaar