VIDEO: White responds to comment from Connacht coach

REACTION: Jake White, the Bulls Director of Rugby, reiterated the intricate difficulties of travelling after visiting Connacht coach Pete Wilkin rued the fact that his side could not to come away with a losing bonus point.

Despite being overjoyed about the victory, White responded to Wilkins’ remark by stating that he is aware of that mindset when playing away from home.

At the press conference held after the game, Wilkin expressed his disappointment to the media about his team’s inability to score a fourth try and at least earn a losing bonus point for the game.

After hearing Wilkin’s remarks, White agreed wholeheartedly with the Connacht coach.

White stated unequivocally, “You have to win both your home and away games.”

“Home games are set in stone, and away games are like bonuses.” Looking at the record, I believe your chances of winning all of your home games are about 65 percent.

“Every bonus point you can earn when playing away from home is like gold.”

And when I say that I’ll be traveling for four weeks, I think it’s important to explain to everyone. Fantastic, you travel domestically in privately chartered aircraft and stay in luxurious hotels. The coach stated openly, “I don’t want anyone to think touring isn’t nice.

“However, you have 30 players on tour, and five of them are injured—Ruan Nortje isn’t able to practice this week, two more players have HIAs, and two more have niggles—and you’re only training with 22 players on the field.

Everyone is aware that it is impossible to train with 22 guys for four weeks and expect to improve over the course of a month.

You may shadow, but you are not allowed to do anything that could hurt players. You are also not allowed to do anything contested, so you could end up with four forwards out. You can’t even execute proper line-outs and scrums, then.

So that’s why I believe it’s tough to be gone for four weeks. It’s not because it’s nice and it’s your job; rather, I believe it’s tough from an organizational and coaching perspective to retain guys for four weeks, especially if you’re dealing with nagging injuries, to ensure that the practices and the development of your group, especially early on, are met.

“Because you are assembling the building blocks for the competition’s backend during this period,” White clarified.

He went into further detail regarding the injury that may have prevented captain Ruan Nortje from playing until the 45th minute. He was outstanding for the Bulls up until that point, scoring their third try with an easy finish after Zak Burger’s dummy crossed the line.

“If he’s not there, it’s a huge loss, but maybe there’s a miracle and he’s okay. He runs the lineouts, his defensive skills, his workrate, he is incredible,” the coach exclaimed. “It’s like having two guys.”

And obviously White had to refer to the return of some of their Springboks and the impact they had on the game.

“Every guy in the forward pack, with the exception of Reinhardt Ludwig, who has captained the SA U20s, has played for South Africa,” I told the players prior to the game. That is really amazing. The Bulls made a wise move with this.

“I have been advocating for the inclusion of World Cup winners and Springboks in your team ever since I arrived. International players representing South Africa are a must for the Bulls because they improve both the product and the viewership.

You don’t just score 50 points against Connacht, as you witnessed—I’m not sure when they last gave up that many points. You will therefore gain a great deal of confidence from that,” he stated.

*It was confirmed that Kurt-Lee Arendse missed the match against Connacht due to a family bereavement.

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