Chris Smith Reflects on 50 Games Milestone and Bulls' United Rugby Championship Quarterfinal Prospects

Chris Smith, flyhalf for the Vodacom Blue Bulls, recently celebrated his 50th game in European rugby competitions. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on the Bulls' journey in the United Rugby Championship and their upcoming quarterfinal against Benetton.

Nathan Gogela
Nathan Gogela

Last Updated: 2024-06-07

Louis Hobbs

4 minutes read

Chris Smith

Chris Smith, flyhalf for the Vodacom Blue Bulls recently celebrated 50 games in European rugby competitions with the bulls. He gives us his thoughts on the Bulls chances of winning the third instalment of the United Rugby Championship. 

Chris Smith on Bulls’ URC Journey 

“We had a good run in the URC, made the final in the first one, losing to Stormers in the quarters in the second. Hopefully we have learnt from past experiences, it’s been a good season up until now, we have finished second after the pool games,” Smith told 

“Quarterfinals, knock-out rugby is a different beast, we are fully focused with the quarterfinal this weekend, it’s going to be an extremely tough game against a Benetton side that’s obviously stacked with Italian internationals and obviously Italian rugby is on the rise. It’s going to be really a tough game but looking forward to it.”

The Challenge of Benetton

“Benetton are obviously a quality side, fortunately the last time we played them we got the win but we did concede 5 tries which isn’t ideal, obviously that is a focus point for us. They obviously would have learnt a lot out of the game. 

“It is going to be a massive battle, obviously playing each other 2 weeks ago which is very recent and it’s going to be an epic quarterfinal, as I call it Test Match rugby. They are full of Italian internationals we got a few Springboks, so it is going to be awesome,” he continued. 

Image Credits: SA Rugby Magazine

Image Credits: SA Rugby Magazine

Career Milestone 

Smith recently celebrated 50 caps for the Bulls in European competitions. He goes on to express his gratitude for the club and playing alongside Springboks. 

“It’s been awesome, super chuffed and for fortunate to hit that milestone. In the week I was looking at the Honours Board, who’s achieved 50 caps and it’s mainly Springboks and for me to achieve that, I’m super grateful and happy that I will join those guys. 

I consider myself a bit of a late bloomer, playing at the bulls now in my 5th season, At the moment I’m loving the Bulls, the environment, the guys around me and coaching staff.”

The Underrated Flyhalf 

Two years ago, Handre Pollard was injured. The Boks were seeking a flyhalf. Based on stats, which is provided by Oval Insights for the United Rugby Championship, it suggested that Smith should have been the next upcoming flyhalf. Smith is widely rated as a flyhalf, but under-rated by the rugby public. 

“I’m not the most flashy flyhalf, I don’t have greatest highlight reel but I do like to think my x-factor is doing the basics well and serving the guys around me. I focus on how I can contribute best for the team, through my style of play and make the Canan Moodie’s or the Kurtley’s (Arendse) or the Willie’s (le Roux) outside me let them do their magic,” he concluded. 

Nathan Gogela
Nathan Gogela Sports Writer

Nathan has over a decade of knowledge and experience, both as a former professional sportsperson and journalist. Nathan, a former radio sports presenter and producer is an award-winning community radio sports producer/presenter.