Did Swys pay attention when Bulls schooled his team?
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: The Bulls’ 30-12 win over the Lions will hardly register on the scale of earth-shattering blowouts.
On a weekend when the Hurricanes demolished the Brumbies 43-13 – in a season that’s already seen the Brumbies beat the Chiefs 54-17 and the Bulls smash the Stormers 40-3 – the 18-point margin is not as catastrophic as it seems on the surface.
However, the post-match reaction of coach Swys de Bruin and the pall of gloom over the team suggests the result was indeed a horror show for the Ellis Park-based franchise.
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In the immediate aftermath, the coach articulated his frustrations through a series of clichés – “No excuses” and “hard work to be done”.
However, De Bruin hit the nail on the head when said: “They taught us a rugby lesson.”
The coach made no secret of the fact that there would be a lot of ‘soul-searching’ in Johannesburg this week.
“It starts with me,” De Bruin said.
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He refused to use the loss of inspirational captain Warren Whiteley or the inexperience of his team as an excuse.
“No excuses,” he said – a phrase used several times.
“We have a squad system.
“It doesn’t matter that [Rhyno] Herbst and those guys had their first cap, and they played against [veteran Springbok] Duane [Vermeulen] and those boys.
“It is Super Rugby and you have to man up.
“We have to be man enough to rectify this.”
He said they will ‘take it on the chin’ and move on.
There is sure to be changes to the team this week, especially in the pack – where the Lions were mostly lacking.
“We didn’t have the ball for the first 24 minutes. We just never saw the ball.
“We need the ball to play, we are that type of team.”