My previous article on the woes that the Bulls u/18 Youth Weeks teams will experience was blown out of the water by the Bull's performance against the highly rated Lions teams on Tuesday at Monnas. The Lions played in their second preparation game while it was the Bulls first game of the season.
The results are history with the Bulls winning 3 from 4, with the game of the Academy Country Districts teams ending in a 15-15 draw. The Bulls u/18 Craven Week team won 40-30, The Craven Week XV team of the Bulls won 40-20 while the Bulls also won the Grant Khomo match with 38-18.
I have been laughed at the whole of yesterday by the Bulls supporters and just almost everybody else because of what I said in the previous article regarding the quota problems the Bulls will experience and the predicted dominance of the Lions teams on the day.
What I did not take into account when evaluating the released teams was the coaches involved at the two top sides and especially forward coaches Ryno vs Merwe (Garsfontein) at the Bulls XV and Jaco Koch (Affies) at the Craven Week team. Both Bulls teams played the typical Bulls rugby using their big boys to run at the Lions' defence but what was impressive was the speed the ball was recycled time and time again to set the next human cannonball on his way to test the defence of the Lions yet again only releasing the ball to their backline after no resistance was left in the Lions defence.
Although the Lions Craven squad was missing five of their first choice backline players the way their forwards was overshadowed by the Bulls must be worrying to the management as most of their first-choice forwards were on the field and being bullied by the Bulls.
Does that, however, mean that the Bulls are home free? Unfortunately not as the quota requirements in place require that the whole squad must play at least one full game and that is where the problem lies for the Bulls. Unfortunately, their second string (Quota) players are just not up to the standard of their first choice forwards and mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I still think they will suffer.
The Lions does not have the same problems but again without their brilliant backline, they are mmm average and need their forwards to stand up and face the music. Izan Esterhuizen is starting to look good but the star of the night in the Lions Craven Week team must be the Monnas' number six, Rynard Mouton who was everywhere and scored two great tries.
But the star of the night, and remember this name was the Bulls number 7, Simon Muller (SAC). Muller was initially selected at 5 for the Bulls but with the injury of number 8 Jarrod Scheepers (Gars), Miller was moved into #7 with Reinhardt Roets (Gars) who moved into the lock position. But back to Miller, the complete disregard for the safety of his body when attacking with the ball in hand or defending was a pleasure to watch, if this boy continues this form he will be the star of the Craven Week, remember his name.