PRETORIA – Blue Bulls utility back Johnny Kotze has had his fair share of having to be patient and he knows it is a virtue that ultimately pays off.
Having had to wait out his time while making cameo appearances in Cape Town for the Stormers and Western Province, Kotze’s ability to be patient has paid off handsomely since his move to Pretoria two years ago.
Not only has the 25-year-old finally fulfilled the promise that he showed in his formative years when he moved from Carletonville to Bishops in Cape Town, but he has probably exceeded his wildest expectations with the amount of regular game timehe has had, especially this year.
Kotze’s versatility has helped him greatly and having played most of the Super Rugby season on the wing, he has comfortably slotted in at inside centre when called upon.
While Kotze is happy with the time spent on the field this year, he has urged his teammates to exercise the same patience in getting things right in the Currie Cup after their opening loss to the Sharks in Durban last weekend.
“It’s been a good year and I got a lot of opportunities this year,” he said. “I think I have to build on what I have done and forge forward for the rest of the season.
“Just to be patient in everything we do and not to be erratic when we get a line break or a turnover. We must just relax, get into line and defend the play from there,” he added.
Kotze fully appreciates how short a competition this year’s Currie Cup is, but his call for patience is in how the Bulls play after rushing everything in Durban, which led to a plethora of handling errors and ultimately defeat.
“I think we actually turned up but the thing that cost us was our handling errors,” Kotze explained. “The dominance was there (but) we just didn’t finish it at crucial times and that is the biggest reason and why it looked like we didn’t dominate.”
Kotze doesn’t think anything drastic needs to be done in order to rectify what transpired in Durban ahead of the derby against the Golden Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
“You don’t have to go too deep into it, it is silly handling errors,” he said. “It is just a lack of concentration and if we can correct that this week, we will be ready for this weekend.
“You fight forwards and backwards the whole time. At some stage the emotions will get to you because you don’t get any reward from the good you provide and that could lead to a downward spiral.
“I think our handling and skills are on a good level and this past weekend was just one of those that nothing went our way. The guys will pull our socks up and turn it around this week,” added Kotze.
As patient as Kotze has been in living his dream at the Bulls, he believes that his team can get back in the saddle and still be a formidable force in the abbreviated competition, as long as they are willing to work hard and maintain their patience.
“This competition is a short one and every game is crucial. There is no space for error and that loss hurt us a bit. We will have to dig deep from now on,” Kotze said.@Vata_Ngobeni