Bulls stuck in the previous decade?
October 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
All in all the Bulls had a pretty dreadful ’12 CC season. Only sneaking into the semi’s by beating a second string Lions team that had nothing to gain or to lose. Which also lifted them from bottom of the log.
Then this weekend they were out muscled, out thought, out played, out kicked by a very good Sharks team in dreadful weather.
This made me wonder the Bulls squad is not a bad squad. They have signed a plethora of young talent in recent years and have loads of Springboks in their camp.
They have props that have played for the boks, a bok hooker, locks that is a bok pairing, lose forwards that has either played or been in boks squad, 2 bok scrumhalves, Bok FH, a bok centre and all their outside backs has played for the boks. This is hardly an experimental or developing squad. They also do not have an extraordinary amount of injuries.
Thus the only conclusion that I can make is that their style of play is just so out of date that they struggle to win even with the amount of talent that is available to them.
In the wet weather of Durban I thought that their kick and chase game plan might still hold some ground but every time they kicked the ball they just gave Ludick possession and he made them pay.
When Rassie took over at the WP in 2008 he tried to model their game around the then dominant Bulls game plan. And it sort of worked for WP but because WP never had a strong enough front row they came unstuck at finals. Now that the game has moved on the Sharks and Lions game plans seems to be better and even though it took the WP a while even they have started to keep more possession.
The Bulls bought every school boy that could catch and pass the ball (and even a few who can’t) but this will not help them unless they also realize that the game has changed and so must they.
Yes the Bulls lost a lot of stalwarts at the end of ’11 but it wasn’t like the bulls were on fire in the S15 or CC in ’11. And it isn’t that the Bulls do not have the players or the youngsters to be competitive.
Maybe just a shift in their game plan will work wonders for them?