Sat, 26 Sep 2020

Jake's Bulls WON'T turn world-beaters overnight

News24
03 Aug 2020, 23:12 GMT+10

Few prizes for guessing which high-profile domestic team have beefed up their squad resources the most during rugby's extended lockdown period: it's got to be the

White will do very well to establish continuity and precision quickly: whatever the first match-day XV he puts together, it will be significantly different from the one that began the last Super Rugby game under Pote Human's charge against the Reds in Brisbane on 14 March (a 41-17 drubbing after such a promising start).

That was before the injection of such new faces as Duane Vermeulen, Arno Botha, Nizaam Carr, Gio Aplon, Clinton Swart and Marcel van der Merwe.

The new-look backline, for example, may feasibly differ by 100 percent from the unit who took to the field in Queensland, especially considering the subsequent offloading of Manie Libbok, Burger Odendaal, Warrick Gelant and Johnny Kotze to elsewhere.

And while I expect the Bulls to have (or quickly develop) plentiful collective pack grunt under White's tutelage, loyal Loftus supporters have reason to be just a little concerned over how much X-factor they'll sport in the key tactical slots of Nos 10 and 12.

There's little in the way of proven back-up to 36-year-old, metronomic-kicking Steyn at flyhalf, and if the well-travelled Swart, for example, is installed at inside centre they will have good muscle but not an awful lot of guile and pace ... the

midfield as a whole still looks a vulnerable area for them.

So I'm stopping short of predicting overnight success, but let's wait and see.

*Rob Houwing is Sport24's chief writer. Follow him: @RobHouwing

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