United Rugby Championship

Bulls mentor White sings Louw's praises after Currie Cup award and Lions bulldozing

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Elrigh Louw of the Bulls scores (Gallo)
Elrigh Louw of the Bulls scores (Gallo)
  • Bulls director of rugby Jake White said they have a gem of a player in young loose-forward Elrigh Louw.
  • The 22-year-old won the Currie Cup player of the year gong in the SA Rugby Awards on Thursday.
  • Louw played a crucial role in the Bulls' 34-10 United Rugby Championship win against the Lions on Saturday.

Bulls director of rugby Jake White said up-and-coming number eight Elrigh Louw has the potential to become a force to be reckoned with.

The 22-year-old who won the Currie Cup player of the year award didn't win the man-of-the-match gong in Saturday's 34-10 win for the Bulls against the Lions at Ellis Park.

However, he left quite the physical calling card on a battered Lions side that was left to scratch their heads after a bruising afternoon at the office.

White said Louw has played himself into Bok contention despite the plethora of number eights in the country.

"It was answered this week when he was awarded the Currie Cup player of the year award," White said.

"He's close to being picked because you can't be the best player in the Currie Cup and not be picked.

"He's growing every time, he's really young and he'll get better and better. There was the run he got at the kickoff where he ran over someone and we got some great momentum.

"His lineout at the back of the lineout was outstanding. He's going to come through, but we just need to manage him properly."

The Bulls' four-try demolition of the Lions was every bit different from their 30-26 loss to the Stormers at home last week.

The onus was on dominating the Lions physically and not allowing them any space to exhale. White said they went through their build-up processes differently after last week's shock loss.

"We trained differently and there was a bit more urgency," White said.

"Sometimes players and teams think that things will just happen and last week, we thought that they were going to do so.

"There was a bit more focus, more energy, and the training sessions were a bit more quick because we want to play with a bit more speed."

One of the big areas of improvement was the breakdown, where a collective effort from Louw, Arno Botha, and Marcell Coetzee stalled any momentum the Lions sought to build.

"Deon Fourie made us work hard at the breakdown and that's part of the learning that the group has to understand and get," White said.

"I was told that we need a fetcher and picked three of them this week."

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