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VIDEO - 'It's going to haunt me': Bulls captain reflects on penalty decision

REACTION: Last Saturday’s United Rugby Championship Final will be one big lesson for Bulls captain Ruan Nortje.


After being labelled as favourites against Glasgow Warriors, his team fell to a 16-21 defeat at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Decision-making in these types of fixtures will always be crucial and in the final quarter of the match, Nortje was faced with an important call.

With 14 minutes left on the clock, Jack Dempsey’s try was disallowed due to an early tackle on Kurt-Lee Arendse in the build-up.

In a kickable position for poles, Nortje instead directed Johan Goosen to kick for touch as the Bulls were banking on their maul to get them over the line.

However, it didn’t happen, and they also squandered a few other chances in the final minutes.

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“It’s 14 minutes left, we probably should go for poles,” said the lock.

“But I like to get the feel of the guys around me and not just make the decision on my own.

“At the end of the day, it was a collective decision to go for touch and put them [Glasgow] under pressure and keep them there.

“We knew that if we could score a try, we would have the lead.”


Nortje admits it could be a decision that keeps him awake at night.

“Looking back, taking the three points, it would’ve been 21-19. It’s definitely a lesson learnt for me.

“I’ve experienced it in previous games. Last year against Scarlets, I was in the same position, so take the points.

“I can say a lot of different things now about why I didn’t take it but it’s definitely something I’m going to think about a lot.

“It’s probably going to haunt me a bit, but the game is over.”

By Annemie Bester & Warren Fortune

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In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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