The Star Late Edition
Bulls need to get out of losing spiral, Louw laments
“DISAPPOINTMENT” and “heartbroken” were just some of the words used by Elrigh Louw to describe the mood in the Bulls camp following their United Rugby Championship (URC) exit last weekend.
But life has to go on, and now the Pretoria side are setting their sights on the Currie Cup title, starting with tomorrow’s clash against Griquas in Kimberley (3pm).
Jake White’s team went down 33-21 to their arch rivals the Stormers at the Cape Town Stadium last Saturday, which was their sixth consecutive defeat to John Dobson’s outfit – and eight if you count two Currie Cup losses as well.
White spoke immediately after the game about fixing things and heeding the lessons from an up-anddown campaign, and he pondered whether to begin the next URC preseason this week already.
But Louw said from Loftus Versfeld yesterday that the players are keen to end the season on a high in the Currie Cup.
“Of course there is disappointment. Everyone is rather negative and heartbroken about how things played out. But we don’t have anyone to blame for how things turned out, and we have to leave the past behind us,” the big No 8 said.
“The way things went, we weren’t playing the way we wanted to – and I take that onto my personal game as well. I don’t think I am personally where I would like to be, in the way I am playing. But lessons learnt, and we will move forward on that.
“We really learnt a lot of lessons as a group out of the URC. A lesson is only a lesson if you learn and improve yourself out of that. I feel that we took a lot of lessons out of the URC that we now want to implement in the Currie Cup.
“The guys are motivated to somehow make things right in what’s left of the season – even though it’s Currie Cup. We don’t want to end the season like we did in the URC, and the Currie Cup is an opportunity for us to build and show we’ve learnt those lessons.
“There are a lot of things we work on at the field, and the big thing for us was discipline and how we put pressure on ourselves due to errors and decisions that we took.
“It’s so easy to fall into a losing spiral, if I can put it like that, and to come out of that, the leadership have made a big step-up, which we had to do.
“And as a group of around 60 players, to stand together and help each other to get out of a hole.”
But if they want to get their hands on the golden trophy once more, they first need to reach the semi-finals.
The Bulls are seventh on the log on 17 points, and with five matches remaining in the league stages, they are trailing fourth-placed Griquas by six points.
So, they need to hit the ground running in what is usually an uncompromising Griqua Park in Kimberley.
“It’s going to be a different team, especially if they get their tails into the air – you will have a long day ahead of you,” Louw said.
“So, I think for us, it’s focusing on us and our plan, and executing the plan that we have for the weekend.
“After the URC season ended, we sat down as a team and discussed our plan, motivation and goal for the Currie Cup, and we are still very much alive.”