Quick Hits: Gilchrist excited to face 'dangerous' Bulls

Quick Hits: Gilchrist excited to face 'dangerous' Bulls

Get the Quick Hits from Grant Gilchrist as the Scotland international spoke with media following the URC Round 3 clash with DHL Stormers.

On the draw with DHL Stormers

"We started the game exactly as we wanted to. We had been slow out the blocks in the past few weeks, including Benetton and pre-season, so the real focus for us was to get out the blocks and I thought we did it. You couldn’t have had a better opening 10 minutes.

"We learnt the lesson that if you kick loosely to a team of that quality they will tear you to shreds.

"We spoke about it through the week but we’re disappointed we didn’t execute our kick strategy that we had in the second-half, in the first-half, when we had such a good lead. We could really have controlled the game.

"We attacked really well in the first-half and we got our kick strategy really going in the second-half. But we didn’t really marry them together. We want to try and put them together and then we’ll be a hard team to beat."

On still being a 'work in progress'

"Yes, 100 per cent. We’re not claiming we are there yet but we are certainly striving to get better every week.

"We are making improvements to our game – small things like the fact we got done with a drop goal at the end of the game last week but this week you saw the guys flying through and putting pressure on and the kick was missed.

"What’s exciting about this group is that we know we can be so much better. We are making steps week on week."

On the game plan for facing the Vodacom Bulls

"We want to play with that tempo but back it up with a controlled kicking game and putting them under pressure.

"We defended much better in the second half against Stormers and attacked much better in the first half.

"We will be looking to put both parts together and flick between controlling the game defensively and then, when we get the opportunity to strike like we did in the first 20 minutes, I don’t think there’s a team in the league that can defend us.

"We also conceded a lot of points in the first half. We have to find a balance. We want to run the ball, but coming out of our own half we have to make it contestable or get a better line.

"We don’t want to beat teams 50 points to 40. We have to be able to score and play with tempo and have a balance defensively. A big part of defence is how you kick. If you kick loosely it is hard to defend."

On what the South African sides bring to the Championship

"They all have dangerous back-threes and they are all physical sides who like the set-piece. It’s the traditional South African way.

"All the teams are so dangerous and if you kick loosely like we did in the first-half, and you don’t get your tackles right in the first couple of phases then they are going to punish you."

On the South African sides improving

"Yes they'll improve, but we think we will get stronger as well. It’s good for the league, great for the league.

"They are exciting teams and I’m sure the supporters loved the game on Saturday night, watching the big South African teams coming to Edinburgh and playing against us.

"It’s exciting. We want to play against the best teams in the world. That’s the brilliant thing about this league. We want to play against these teams with their Springboks and go to Cape Town. What a great opportunity to show how good we can be. It’s fearsome but exciting."

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