PRETORIA - Bulls defense coach Pine Pienaar has always worn his heart on his shoulder and admitting that the Bulls frailties on defense so far this season are his fault, and that it is at the heart of the team’s problems.
As true as it is that the many of the Bulls failings this year have had nothing to do with their brittle defense, one of the areas that have been an Achilles to the side has been their inability to make good of their tackles.
Pienaar has now come out and said they need to fix their defence not only when it comes to one-on-one tackles but in their approach to the breakdowns as well.
Pienaar also admitted that their defence has been porous across the board and that they just buckled under pressure when faced with some of the best attacking players in world rugby when they played against the Blues.
Regardless of the fact that the Blues are worst of the New Zealand outfits this season, Pienaar believes that the Bulls need to get used to the way the New Zealand teams play compared to the dull and uninspiring approach that the Australians side did when they played against them last year.
“Obviously that is true. That is something each and every player takes personal. But you play against some of the best players in the world and one-on-one you will always be under a bit of pressure. The New Zealand players one-on-one are always dangerous,” Pienaar said yesterday.
Pienaar’s admission about New Zealand sides places a difficult challenge on their table seeing that they will be playing against New Zealand sides this year and more immediately their upcoming game against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.
“I know it was better in the past we played against Australians side to concede six tries in game is unacceptable. I’m not happy with the defense. We worked hard during this week and hopefully the boys can come out when it comes to Saturday but I take full responsibility when it comes to the defensive effort.”
The Bulls only have four days this week to sort out their failings in the second half against the Blues after holding them to a 7-all draw in the first 40 minutes and Pienaar believes that they can make up for lost ground by ensuring they don’t allow the ball to get as wide as the wings.
The intensity of the games have also been in a problem in the Bulls defeats to the Stormers, Cheetahs and Blues as the team from the capital of South Africa have struggled to keep up to speed with the intensity their opposition have brought to games.
“In the first half we did very well but in the second half especially last 17 minutes the pace of play caught us a bit and well done to the Blues I thought they kept onto the ball very well. We conceded a few line breaks on the outside and that is something we will need to work from for the game against the Chiefs. I think defensive wise we have too many guys in the breakdown and it is something we addressed. If you have too many people in the breakdown you will always be in trouble on the outside and we want to be better when it comes to the Chiefs game on Saturday,” Pienaar said.