'We got it wrong': White opens up after Rainbow Cup Final defeat
REACTION: Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White admitted that his team looked “inexperienced” in their Rainbow Cup Final in Italy on Saturday.
The Bulls were expected to return to South Africa with another trophy, but instead they are licking their wounds after being outplayed by Italian club Benetton in Treviso.
Benetton won the Final 35-8 to cap off a remarkable campaign. Their success came after they failed to win a single match during the regular Pro14 season.
“It was a bit arrogant from South Africans to expect that you can just arrive in Italy and beat this Italian club side and you get on a plane and you go home,” said White.
“This a different tournament altogether. We [South African teams] have been playing each other and we know everyone backwards and we know every coach backwards because that is all we have seen for about a year now.
“To come here and then get into the unknown makes you so much better.
“I am glad we had the opportunity to come across and I am glad that we played in a Final. I am glad that we had an opportunity to grow as a team.
“I am very disappointed we didn’t get over the line. I have coached overseas and I think some of these young boys have seen that it is a completely different game when you come up here.”
White acknowledged that his team were outplayed in all areas of the game.
“You can’t single out any player. I just thought there was no area of the game where we really put a stamp down,” White explained.
“I just felt we were a bit short of the pace in everything. Every time we had a line-out we lost it.
“I’m a realist and I have enjoyed winning with this group. I’ve enjoyed having the group feel what it is like to win big games and today we got it wrong.”
He added: “They played tactically really smart. They didn’t allow us to get into the game.
“I think we did not touch the ball for the first 20 minutes.”
White had some advice for the other South African teams ahead of the United Rugby Championship, which starts in September.
“Don’t come here assuming it the same as what you are used to. We looked like an inexperienced team today.
“There wasn’t one aspect of our game where we looked as if we were on top of them.
“I think the lessons for all the coaches is that it is easy to do analysis on our domestic rugby, but it tougher to do it on teams that you don’t know and players that you don’t know,” said White.
🐂 @BlueBullsRugby‘s Marcell Coetzee reacts to his team’s disappointing loss to Benetton
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) June 19, 2021