Currie Cup

Bulls' 14-man triumph: Jake White draws comparisons to Crusaders upset in 2014

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Bulls director of rugby Jake White at Newlands before their Currie Cup match against Western Province on 28 November 2020.
Bulls director of rugby Jake White at Newlands before their Currie Cup match against Western Province on 28 November 2020.
Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
  • Bulls mentor Jake White has compared their win over WP to when he coached the Sharks to an upset win over the Crusaders in 2014.
  • In both games, White's charges overcame the odds to win with only 14 men on the park.
  • White says he tried to instil a message of belief in his players that it was possible.

Bulls director of rugby Jake White says their win with 14 men over Western Province at Newlands was reminiscent of when he coached the Sharks to victory over the Crusaders in Christchurch in 2014.

The biggest talking point from the Bulls' 22-20 win was no doubt the 47th minute red card dished out to Bulls prop Jacques van Rooyen for a late and dangerous tackle on WP fullback Warrick Gelant.

The men from Pretoria trailed for most parts of the second period but scored a late try to snatch their first Currie Cup win at Newlands since 2009.

White said it was a message of belief that he tried to instil in his players once they were up against it.

"Of course, I believed, I said to the players just keep on believing. I've been in this situation before with the Sharks where we beat the Crusaders with 14 men," White told reporters after the game on Saturday night.

In 2014, when White was at the helm of the Sharks, the Durbanites stunned the Crusaders 30-25 in Christchurch. Early in the game, they lost flank Jean Deysel to a red card for stomping Crusaders counterpart Jordan Taufua in the face and also played a period in the second half with 13 men when Willem Alberts received a yellow card.

"I was very fortunate that we won in Christchurch with the Sharks team. My message to the players was that it's happened before and we've got to believe that it's going to happen. And if you don't believe it's not going to happen.

"I was very positive, I knew it was possible and I wanted them to believe that it's possible. And in hindsight it's fantastic because the kind of positiveness and the kind of groundswell and emotion you get out of these kinds of wins stands you in good stead... not only for this competition but going forward as a group of players as well," White said.

White added that the win was extra special because it was likely the last time they would play at Newlands.

"That shows a lot of character, to play against Province with 14 men for 35 minutes... to get a result like that, obviously any coach would be extremely proud. It's the last time we played at Newlands ever and it's a win that will be in the memory bank for everybody.

"The way we played with 14 men, the way we moved the ball around was almost like we had an overlap every time. It was fantastic because we trusted our skills and we scored some great tries even with 14 men."

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