Super Rugby 15.4.2018 07:45 pm

John Mitchell: Bulls are winning back hearts

Manie Libbok of the Vodacom Bulls congratulates Warrick Gallant of the Vodacom Bulls after scoring his third try during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium Stadium on April 14, 2018 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)

Manie Libbok of the Vodacom Bulls congratulates Warrick Gallant of the Vodacom Bulls after scoring his third try during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium Stadium on April 14, 2018 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)

The Bulls’ mentor is increasingly optimistic about the growth of his young side and raves over the performance of Warrick Gelant.

The cliche goes that one swallow doesn’t make a summer but the Bulls’ comprehensive 40-10 Super Rugby triumph over the Sharks in Durban at the weekend is significant enough for even John Mitchell to become excited.

“We’re still taking stock of things on week-by-week basis. We’ve still got a long way to go,” said the Bulls coach.

“But what we’re starting to see is a blueprint where the players are confident and have a better understanding of each other. The important thing is we’re starting to win back the hearts and minds of our fans. It’s important, they’ve had to endure a lot of hard times and make many sacrifices.”

The men from Loftus were indeed outstanding on a wet night, showing ruthlessness on attack in scoring three early tries and delivering a stirring forward display before tightening up effectively when the heavens opened.

Even if the Bulls under Mitchell are striving for a more attacking game, their aggressive defence is rapidly becoming one of their fortes.

It was particularly noticeable in the match.

“I think the guys are starting to enjoy defence,” said Mitchell.

“They take personal pride in it. What we also believe is that defence can feed your attack too. We saw that here.”

The New Zealander also highlighted the performance of exciting fullback Warrick Gelant, who ended with a deserved hat-trick.

“Warrick had a great week of prep,” said Mitchell.

“He’s in a great space and was brilliant. He’s gone through a tough time performance wise. But he looked like he enjoyed himself. It’s great to see him in form.”

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