PRETORIA – Claiming their first victory of the 2019 Currie Cup campaign, the Blue Bulls players restored coach Pote Human’s faith in them following their 25-17 win over the Pumas in Nelspruit over the weekend.
Human called his charges’ commitment into question after their defeat to the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld a week ago.
The Blue Bulls had to dig deep for the victory over a gritty Pumas side and managed to pull through in the last 15 minutes of the match.
Former Pumas flier Rosko Specman made all the difference for the Blue Bulls highlighting his remarkable finishing abilities by scoring a hat-trick of tries.
“This is what we expect of players when they pull the Blue Bulls jersey over their heads, I am very satisfied with that although we still made a lot of mistakes,” Human said.
“We gave them two soft tries, but the guys showed character to get the victory. Specman was special tonight, especially playing at his old stomping ground against his former team and he once again showed he had the X-factor.”
The Light Blues' young and inexperienced pack are finding it tough to fill the boots of some of the stalwarts that were part of the Springbok set-up.
Their set-pieces have failed to fire in the opening two matches, and they expected to be tested against a Pumas side that relishes a good-old forwards arm wrestle.
But they held up against Jimmy Stonehouse’s men with the two sides getting in embroiled in a battle of attrition in Mpumalanga.
“They are hard upfront, and they play good rugby, I am really happy with the win,” Human said.
“The set-pieces were a lot better and the scrums were very good. In the line-outs we did well to stop their driving mauls. We still need to be more patient with the ball in hand. We conceded turnovers unnecessarily which they capitalised on. It won’t get any easier, but the victory will mean a lot to the team.
“Both teams had their backs against the wall, and this victory will be immense to boost our confidence for the rest of the competition,” Human said.
“Because it is such a short competition we couldn’t afford to lose another match.
“We will have to make sure we keep our feet on the ground and take it a game for game. Next weekend we take on Griquas at Loftus Versfeld, and it will not be easy to beat them.”
Griquas were the pace-setting team before this weekend’s round of matches before they faced a rampant Cheetahs side in Bloemfontein.
The Cheetahs now sit at the top of the log after two dominant performances in Pretoria and at home against Griquas.@ockertde