Blue Bulls coach Jake White heaped praise on his charges for showing good composure in their Currie Cup semi-final win over the Lions on Saturday.
The Pretoria franchise controlled proceedings nicely at Loftus Versveld, edging out a 26-21 victory after a 14-point comeback from the Lions.
"The nice thing is that we've had a really good fighting spirit in the second half - I said it last week as well, that we won most of the second halves," the World Cup-winning coach told the press.
"After being 14-0 up and then two minutes later 14-all, some sides would maybe start to panic. The fact that we regrouped and ended up showing lots of composure is obviously satisfying for me as a coach.
"We squeezed them and squeezed them and squeezed them, and at 11-0, it was a true reflection, even though we didn't have a lot of the ball.
"The one thing the Lions have consistently done well over the last couple of years is that they come prepared and are not going to go away. They are a very difficult team to play against, and I was always aware of the fact that they will make it tough for you to win games. They weren't going to lie down and die."White also praised captain Duane Vermueln's leadership skills.
"I supposed he is a World Cup winner, Man of the Match in the final, and they've also got to have an understanding of the field as the captain," he continued.
"He knows... he is on the field and got a sense that certain things are working, and you've got to trust him, just like they've got to trust the coaching staff on the homework we do, we have to trust them on the field - especially the captain who takes over on a Saturday."
The Bulls, who last reached the Currie Cup final in 2009, will face the Sharks at Loftus in the world's oldest domestic rugby competition on Saturday. The men from Durban ground out a 19-9 victory over Western Province in their final game at Newlands.
- TEAMtalk media