White full of smiles, but Bulls hungry for more

Next challenge is Europe campaign after victory over Sharks in Currie Cup final

Marcell Coetzee of the Bulls shows off the Carling Currie Cup trophy after beating the Sharks in the final at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday
Marcell Coetzee of the Bulls shows off the Carling Currie Cup trophy after beating the Sharks in the final at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Vodacom Bulls coach Jake White was rightly smiling from ear to ear on Saturday night after his side completed the first back-to-back Currie Cup title sweep in 17 years.

And while the question for every other team is how they catch this Bulls side, White will now set his sights on Europe as the rightful top team in the country.

The Bulls were so dominant in the final that it was the largest winning margin ever in a Currie Cup final, and it’s difficult to see any local team threatening them in the short term.

“I’m very proud that it’s a back-to-back result,” White said afterwards.

“It hasn’t happened for 17 years. This union is an incredibly proud rugby union.”

And the coach was brimming with pride at the step up that the Bulls took in the final weeks of the competition.

“I’m obviously very, very happy,” he said.

“I’m happy about the last two weeks. I think there’s definitely been a progression in our game.

“When you enter a competition, what you want to see is that at the back end of the competition, you get better.

“So, we were spot-on with our conditioning, spot-on with our plans the last two weeks.

“To beat Province like we did last week, and beat the Sharks convincingly like we did today, it’s a tick for everybody — it’s a tick for the coaches, it’s a tick for the conditioning staff, and the players’ preparation.

“I am obviously ecstatic that we managed to finish off on such a high note.”

White said this team was not done, and while they had dominated all rugby since the start of the pandemic, and had a clean sweep of trophies since then, they wanted to take it a step further.

“We want to be the best club,” he said.

“We want to make sure we create a bit of a legacy, and we are very thankful for what’s happened before.

“Let’s not forget that players before us have had exactly the same successes, and that’s probably why we can do what we do — because we have a bit of a legacy that’s been given to us.

“I don’t want to get too sentimental about it, but since I’ve been here, that is exactly what we’ve been pushing.

“The jersey is helluva important, and when they play like they did tonight, I’m sure the supporters and everybody that’s involved with the Bulls will be very, very proud.”

The Bulls defence, after being on the back foot and virtually having no ball in the opening stanza, laid the groundwork for the victory.

Whatever the Sharks threw at them, it never fazed the Bulls and they simply waited for their chances before pouncing.

“That very first set of defence, where they got the ball and attacked us and attacked us, I think we went through many, many phases and we got a turnover, a penalty and then we could kick it downfield,” White said.

“From there, we turned that into a try from first-phase — you don’t get better than that.

“You defend your line, everyone’s in place, and your system’s in place.

“Then you get a first chance to go and score in a final, and then you take it and score, as Harold Vorster did there.

“That is what it’s all about.

“If you’re playing in a big game, you’ve got to make sure that the big moments aren’t always on attack — the big moments can be both.”  — SuperSport.com