Mistakes continue to plague Bulls

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 12:24
Large handre pollard bulls tackled 800

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: Bulls coach Nollis Marais believes his side is on the right path, despite mistakes at crucial times giving their opponents a sniff in the match, following their 34-21 victory over the Sunwolves on Friday.

The Bulls played 39 minutes of the second half with just 14 players after Renaldo Bothma received a straight red card for a dangerous high tackle but it was a basic error of not kicking a penalty into touch just before half-time that allowed the Sunwolves to score and trail just 14-17 at the break.

"We are making too many mistakes, that is why we are struggling to gain momentum. We didn't start badly, we did all the play in the opening 30 minutes and had a good lead.

"It was one or two errors that got them [Sunwolves] back in the game. We should have killed them off before half-time. I agree that there are a lot of things that need improving but I feel we are on the correct path.

"The red card killed us in the second half because you can defend how many times you want, there will be space somewhere. Had Jason [Jenkins] scored, we looking at a different game.

"We made it difficult for ourselves but the guys fought well to play 40 minutes with 14 players against a team that keeps the ball for many phases. Obviously there were plenty of other opportunities to score but we are still happy with the win, despite not getting the bonus point.

"When I saw it [the tackle], I said it was red. They made it clear to us, that's the stipulation, I was hoping Willie Vos [TMO] would have missed it but when they reviewed it, I knew it was red. Those are the competition's rules and we accept the red card.

"For me, its important to win at Loftus, regardless of who you are playing. I think there were some good things in the game. The 14 guys fought for the remainder of the game," Marais said.

Bulls captain Handre Pollard believes the victory stands them in good stead ahead of their tour to New Zealand.

"We are improving, they [Sunwolves] came out with a bang in the opening minutes but we handled it and got some points soon after.

"We are excited to play against the NZ teams. We are looking forward to it and want to use it to turn our season around and return with some log points. Then we will be a side that will contest for a semi-final spot," Pollard said.

Marais believes they have a good plan for the Blues, who they face in their opening match of the tour.

"The Blues are a good team. I think we have a good plan for them but on the day, we need to go out and impress. If you are going to give them a lot of loose ball, you are going to be punished.

"None of the New Zealand sides are weak, so this win [against the Sunwolves] gives us a lot of confidence. Any win is a good win in Super Rugby.

"I felt that we were more in a match this week [than previous weeks] and the confidence is there from the guys coming back [from injuries]. To win games, you need your best players on the field," Marais added.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10