Bulls 'going to struggle next year'
REACTION: Bulls’ quarterfinal exit was accompanied with a massive reality check for head coach Pote Human.
The Bulls mentor, in his first season as head coach, guided the team to the Super Rugby playoffs for the first time since 2013.
The three-time champions’ campaign was halted courtesy of a 28-35 defeat to the Hurricanes at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
Despite the defeat, the South African exceeded expectations and produced an impressive performance.
The side’s creativity on attack was evident as they scored four tries, including a penalty try. However, Hurricanes also scored four tries while the two penalties by Jordie Barrett proved to be the difference in the end
Following the match, the 59-year-old commended the side’s valiant efforts, however, the realizations of losing senior personnel certainly dampened his spirit.
No.8 Duane Vermeulen, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins and star Jesse Kriel, have landed deals with Japanese Top14 teams.
Springbok duo Lood de Jager and Handre Pollard, as well as youngsters Eli Snyman, Hanro Liebenberg and Hendre Stassen are heading to Europe, while veteran hooker Schalk Brits is expected to retire.
“Ten of the guys are leaving us after [the quarterfinal defeat], so we’re going to struggle next year I think,” Human revealed to Stuff.
“For me personally, it’s very disappointing because it’s my first year as head coach of the Bulls and I really thought if we could keep this team for another two years it would be great, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
“We will have to look at it. It’s really difficult. They stopped the Bok contracts, so it’s all through the franchises now to try to keep the guys, but the money is just too big in Japan and Europe,” he added.
Reflecting on the match, the coach revealed there were some critical officials calls that did not favour the visitors especially in regards to the possible try of Vermeulen.
“I thought the ball touched the line but it was one of those 50/50 calls that go against you. Away, you are going to get those against you. That’s rugby,” Human said.
Meanwhile, Human made a spontaneous suggestion to Springbok head coach Rassie Erasmus, in regard to wing Hendricks’ form.
Thus far Hendricks had been outstanding in the few chances he received scoring two tries and having the chance to draw the game in the final moments only to lose the ball.
“He is hitting form now. Maybe Rassie [Erasmus-Springbok coach] can use him. He showed he can compete at this level,” he said.
Sources: @NZStuff & @AllBlacks