Robbie: Bulls backline must fire
23 Mar 2006
The Bulls cannot rely on their pack to bully their way to the Vodacom Super 14 semi-finals, according to former British Lions scrumhalf and media personality John Robbie.
Speaking on Boots&All, Robbie emphasised that backline incisiveness must improve if the Loftus horde hopes to emulate last year’s performance.
“To win the Super 14, you have to have a backline to destroy,” Robbie said. “With the exception of the Sharks and Cheetahs on occasion, we see South African sides kicking ahead and relying on luck or a spot of brilliance to score tries. We’re not wearing down sides, working through phases, creating overlaps and hitting gaps.
“We should be comparing ourselves to the top sides, and not the also rans. I don’t think [the Bulls] are there yet.”
Robbie lamented the decision by TMO Linston Manuels that had a massive influence on the Vodacom Super 14 encounter with the Hurricanes, but stated that a side leading 20-12 should still have the quality to close out the game at home.
“At this age in a professional age, it’s a shocking decision. Refs should not be getting those calls wrong, but still the Bulls should have won that game.
“There’s no easy game in the Super 14, so I hope the Bulls don’t think that the Force are just a routine victory. The Force are going to deliver one big performance this season, and it could be this week, but still Perth is not the worst place to start their tour.”