South Africa

Bulls still have cracks to fill, says Bekker, as season heads to business end

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Bulls assistant coach Andries Bekker has insisted that there’s still plenty of room for improvement in their game as the season heads to the crucial stages. 

Bekker, who joined the Bulls at the start of the season, has contributed significantly to the progress the team have shown this term. The Bulls are currently in third place in the United Rugby Championship points table with 35 points. 

They have also qualified for the last 16 of the Champions Cup where they will take on Lyon in April at Loftus Versfeld.

Up and down season

Assessing their season so far, Bekker was pleased with how they have moved through the gears but wants more from his charges tactically.

“We’ve been going well in the season so far, but it’s too up and down. We need to find a few games in a row where we can transfer that pressure and execute our basics more,” said Bekker when speaking to the media.

The former Springbok lock said they are pleased to have their senior players back in the setup for the run-in of the season after the Bulls were required to rest their Springbok players throughout this season. All of Canan Moodie, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Marco van Staden and Willie le Roux have taken breaks at different times this season.

Also back in the Bulls playing squad is prop Wilco Louw, who has been influential in their scrum.

“It’s good to have a couple of experienced players back, that will help us,” Bekker said.

“In that middle part of the season, we had a couple of young guys, good guys but who are inexperienced. They have played eight games in a row and that will make it easier for us. I don’t think it’s easy to get that perfect performance but we are working hard to get close to that,” he said.

‘We need to work on our kicking’

An area that Bekker noted that needs improvement in their system is the kicking game. Bekker wants the team to work on their in-game kicking, in terms of how they kick to release pressure and put it on opponents.

“If we can sort out our kicking game and how we can transfer pressure and relieve pressure … I think in the modern game that’s the biggest thing you’ll have to get perfect to make the game easier.

“It’s difficult when you play the Lions where they don’t play in their half, and the Stormers, they play more and kick a little bit less and then the next game they’ll kick a little bit more.

“So, it’s that fine balance of how you can transfer pressure and relieve that pressure, that’s our biggest work on,” Bekker said.

The Bulls return to URC action next Saturday against the Stormers at home.