Heyneke Meyer praised Wynand Olivier and JP Nel for their role in the Bulls’ victory over the Waratahs at Loftus.
The centre pairing was slammed for their poor defensive effort after the Bulls defeat to the Brumbies, but were back to their best against the ‘Tahs.
“We defended brilliantly in the first half,” said Meyer. “Our midfield repaid the faith we’d shown in them [by giving them another chance] and gave a superb performance. It shows what stuff Wynand and JP are made of.”
Meyer also lauded flyhalf Derick Hougaard, who is back to his best after a 2005 season that saw him relegated to the Bulls bench.
“I’m really pleased with Derick. He was tactically brilliant,” said Meyer. “I was also happy with the decisions made by Fourie [du Preez] as captain. We couldn’t afford to lose two home games in a row, so this is a big, big win for us. Not just in terms of the competition, but for the team spirit.”
Waratahs coach Ewen Mckenzie said the Bulls had deserved their victory.
“Their tactical kicking was a lot better than ours, especially in the first half,” he said. “We just couldn’t get into the game. When we scored those two tries [in the final quarter] I thought for a moment that we could win the game, but the lead was just too big.”
The Bulls next match against the Highlanders will see the return of Victor Matfield, Richard Bands and possibly Gary Botha. However, Johan Wasserman has hurt his knee and could be out of action for two weeks.