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Bulls hooker calls for 'technical and tactical changes'

Super Rugby
PRETORIA - Something different and something out of the box could be the only way the Bulls will put to bed the horror of last weekend and maybe even get an unlikely win against the Highlanders at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

There is a need for change at the Bulls if they are to prevent themselves from reliving the 62-24 nightmare inflicted on them at the hands of the Crusaders.

That change will have to be in the playing personnel but also in the approach the Bulls are going to have when facing the Highlanders.

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Edgar Marutlulle carries the ball in a recent match against the Sunwolves. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

There are some players who have shown scant loyalty to the jersey and the team, and it will leave coach Nollis Marais with no choice but to make the changes that are long overdue.

That something different and out of the box could come in the form of SA “A” hooker Edgar Marutlulle who has been patiently waiting on the fringes to get his chance to show what he can do at Super Rugby level.

Marutlulle joined the Bulls from the Southern Kings at the end of last year’s Super Rugby competition and, though he was one of the form hookers in the country then, the Bulls management have hardly given him a fair chance to compete for the No2 jersey because of the blind loyalty to players that have been at Loftus longer than Marutlulle.

But Marais can no longer afford to ignore Marutlulle in light of under-performing hookers in captain Adriaan Strauss and Jaco Visagie, and he might just be one of those surprise elements the Bulls need to bring the energy back into their campaign.

“I still have hope and expectation for myself and the team. Each week is different and every day we fight for the joy of the weekend ahead. Other things are out of my hands, I can only do the things I can do,” Marutlulle said.

“I do my work, that is all I can do. I play and express myself and whether I get chosen or not is up to the coach. I believe my time will come. I just keep on being the same player I was last year and the year before and hopefully improve but the decision is with the man upstairs whether it is the coach or the Lord. Each one has a role to play. I just do what I got to do.

Add to the change in personnel, the Bulls will also have to look at their deficiencies in the previous game and how to rectify those considering they are facing a similar team to the Crusaders on Saturday.

This is where Marutlulle will again be valuable for the men in blue with his injection of pace among the forwards and ability to find holes even in the steadiest of defences.

“A lot of people talk about attitude but sometimes it is also technical. Sometimes we have to change a couple of things that technically are out of the box and completely different.

“You can have the right attitude but if you are technically wrong then you will get zero.

“Hopefully we can make a couple of technical and tactical changes to the game that are of an out of the box nature. The Bulls are capable of surprising people with that,” said Marutlulle.

While the Bulls seem to be struggling with the intensity and speed with which the New Zealand teams play, Marutlulle brings some insight into how to compete against the likes of the Highlanders as he played against them in last year’s competition when still in the colours of the Kings.

“What we really did well then was that technically and tactically we changed a lot of things each week. And you pick up something from one team and it becomes your own. That is what you have to do.

“There is a school of adaptation in Super Rugby. You can’t do what you did four weeks ago because all the teams catch up with you and you get flat-footed regardless of the attitude you bring into the game.

“You have to change and tweak a couple of things each week and adapt.”

The Star

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