South Africa

White gives his players the thumbs up after victory against Zebre

David Kriel Bulls Zebre 1

The Bulls boss said he wasn’t too concerned with the tries conceded, while praising his backline for their contribution in the victory.

Bulls director of rugby Jake White is not alarmed by how easily their defence was breached in their 54-29 win against Zebre in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday.

The Pretoria franchise was the better outfit in the 80 minutes in Parma, and they dominated proceedings, being solid in many of their game aspects.

They also scored eight tries against the whipping boys of the competition, however, they looked wobbly in defence when Zebre got some momentum and went on the attack. The Italian club managed to score four tries themselves through Jacobo Bianchi, Gerónimo Prisciantelli, Scott Gregory, and Lorenzo Pani.

The Bulls roped in former Springboks assistant coach Gary Gold in the off-season to help strengthen their defence, but despite conceding four tries White is not at all worried about that aspect of play.

‘Never want to leak points’

“I’m not concerned about defence; everyone wants to get the perfect game. To be fair, they scored 36 points against Ulster and 31 points against Ospreys, so we kept them lower than that with 29 points,” said White during his post-match press conference.

“It’s not ideal, you never want to leak points, but in saying that they are a team that can score a lot of points as we have seen in these three weeks.

“It’ll be something that the players will want to work on because if teams see how we were opened up a few times, especially in the wide channels … we have to be sharper than that,” he said.


The Bulls were efficient in their attack with the backline having a lot of bite. Inside centre David Kriel scored a hat-trick, winger Devon Williams got a brace and debutant Sergeal Petersen also got a try. White was pleased with how the backline performed in the match.

“I’m delighted (with the attack). What I really enjoy is we have got pace now; you look at Sergeal, Devon and David, who has played outside back is playing at 12,” White said.

“All of a sudden when we keep the ball and make a couple of line breaks there’s enough support players to catch up and play with them.

“I was a bit disappointed at the beginning when we knocked the ball a few times when we were building pressure but as the game went on we got better and better,” he said.

The Bulls return to action on Friday when they visit Cardiff at the Cardiff Arms Park.