Press Pass: Lawrie on Bulls
Get the latest from Forwards Coach Stevie Lawrie ahead of Friday night’s BKT United Rugby Championship Round 4 clash against Vodacom Bulls at Hive Stadium.
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On Ali Price’s arrival at the club
“Ali started training today (Monday). I didn’t know much of him [beforehand] other than how well he can play against us. He’s come in today, we met him on Friday as a coaching group, he’s hit the ground running. He’s really good with his detail, and the boys are excited to have him.
“He’s certainly somebody that’s going to bring a lot of quality and a good bit of competition as well. It’s an area where we want to grow our quality, and if we can have competition in our squad that’s only going to be great for everybody.
“Ali will be available for selection for Friday night vs Vodacom Bulls.”
On competition for places at scrum-half
“Competition is a good thing for everybody. It raises the level at training and it means that when you play you need to perform well.”
On Jamie Ritchie’s return
“Jamie Ritchie is available for selection as well. He’s training really well. He’s done all his return stuff.”
On the team’s injury list
“The nature of the game is always attritional, so we’re going to lose guys, but that creates opportunities.
“And when you get an opportunity you’ve got to seize it. Selection every week is tough, the discussions are tough, but the competition in the squad is strong and that builds resilience as well.
“We showed a resilient edge at the weekend to get the win, and I think the competition builds resilience as well, because sometimes you don’t get selected. That’s learning.”
On what to expect from Vodacom Bulls
“They’ll be a massive challenge physically. You know exactly what they’re going to build with. They’ll bring that power game. I think they’ve gone back to that a little bit more this season.
“Wilco Louw has made a difference in terms of how they’ve scrummaged but we’ve also had some positive scrummaging displays, so that’s going to be a key area.
“I think also, the battle of the gain line. They’re a momentum-based team and we need to make sure that we’re physically appropriate in that area, for want of a better phrase.
“We’re excited about the challenge, really excited to get out there, have another game at the Hive and bring the energy we did at the weekend, and look to get better because it wasn’t a perfect performance. There’s plenty stuff we need to work on and we want to build on where we were.”
On Jaco van der Walt’s potential return
“We’ve seen him in pre-season but I don’t know whether he’s available for selection for them or not.
“Chris Smith and Johan Goosen, the other 10s, have been in the frame so if Jaco plays that’ll be fantastic in terms of the test that might prove but I think the other two 10s have also played well.”