Bulls coach opens up on costly decision against Scarlets
REACTION: Bulls assistant coach Chris Rossouw has opened up on a big missed opportunity in his side’s United Rugby Championship Round 13 encounter against the Scarlets in Llanelli
The team from Pretoria fell to a 28-37 defeat at Parc y Scarlets, but things could have been different for the visitors with better decision-making.
The hosts led 27-7 at one stage but a superb second-half rally from the South Africans saw them make it a two-point game at 30-28 following a bonus-point try by Simphiwe Matanzima with less than 20 minutes left on the clock.
After that try and with momentum on their side, the Bulls had a kickable penalty just outside the Scarlets’ 22, which would have put them in the lead. However, they opted for a driving line-out.
The decisions proved costly as Scarlets broke out. David Kriel was yellow-carded for a late tackle and the hosts clinched victory with a try from Johnny McNicholl.
“I thought it was a game of two halves. They say hindsight is an exact science,” Rossouw told reporters after the match.
“We also have this principle that if you are dominant and you are up by one or two points then you normally go to the corner to apply more pressure, instead of letting them in after you kick that penalty then, they are on your tryline again.
“I think that maybe got the better of us.
“At that stage, we were going very well. I think the guys just thought that if they could convert that into a try it would give them even more momentum.”
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Rossouw admitted that the three points might have been the better option.
“If we look back now maybe we could have taken that three points and apply scoreboard pressure and then rebuild from there,” Rossouw explained.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t convert that play. If you look back, maybe it is something we could have done differently.
“There were games that we did exactly the same [go for a line-out] and we scored and maybe the guys had that thought process.”
To rub salt in the Bulls’ wounds, they could be without of their backline players for a lengthy period.
“It looks like Stravino [Jacobs] has a serious leg injury,” said Rossouw.
“It could be that he has a fracture in his lower limb, but we will have to get the final update on that.”