The Bulls might have missed out on the perfect opportunity to top the South African conference after their ugly 36-34 win over the Brumbies but captain Pierre Spies believes that their win over the Brumbies has put them in a better place to make their four match tour of Australasia a “special one”.
Spies, again, re-iterated the importance of winning regardless of the how and with the Bulls faced with a month away from home, it will be imperative that the former three-time Super Rugby champions maintain their winning ways or else this tour could possibly end their assault on the title.
Had the Bulls managed to score two more tries for the bonus point then they would be sitting pretty in second place on the overall log behind the Chiefs and first in the South African conference, one point above the Stormers.
“I think we did enough to get the lead but we took our foot off the pedal there and the Brumbies kept on attacking and held onto the ball pretty well. So they got the result for that. But in the end in this competition you are going to get games like this but the important thing is that you win it. We’ve been going five games in a row and at the end it is a good win for us.” Spies said.
“We always want to score four tries but we couldn’t do that. The Brumbies were organised and we made too many mistakes and couldn’t get our momentum going. The win is important and it is also important to keep getting the points in this competition. That is the thing about this competition is that you need to win games like this. There were a lot of things that could have gone either way. There was one stage we were leading by 20 points and we could have gone further by scoring more tries but that is how the game turned out and the Brumbies came back. It is important that you stay on the right side of it and get the result,” Spies added.
There is though the comfort that the Bulls will remain amongst the leading pack at the conclusion of next weekend’s action as their bye will see them gain four points which could even see them surpass the Stormers if the men from Cape Town falter in their games against the Western Force in Perth.
But the Bulls won’t be bothered about the Stormers and their focus will now shift to their tour, a tricky affair and possible banana skin that could be their undoing if not enough meticulous planning is done by the management and players.
Unlike in previous years, the Bulls won’t have the luxury of flying to Melbourne for their game against the Rebels a few days before as they will again be forced by a Sanzar ruling to fly in a week before after last year’s flight disruptions due to the ash cloud.
“It is a big psychological boost to take the points on tour and that is ideal because we have another bye next week and we’ll get the points there. It is important also because we will have time to rest and we want to make this tour a special one and I think the guys will be fresh after a week’s rest,” said the Bulls captain.
It is during this week’s rest that most of the Bulls players will be involved in the second Springbok planning camp to be held in Pretoria but also give Bulls coach Frans Ludeke time to dissect the errors that almost cost his team the game against the Brumbies.
The frail Bulls defence will be top of the pile as far too many first time tackles were missed and the Brumbies even managed to score off the first phase.
Ludeke though denied that defence coach John McFarland’s involvement with the Springboks last week played a role in the Bulls neglecting what has been a strength of their game over the years.
“It was just a wrong read there in the midfield defence and nothing more than that. There is no doubt about John’s commitment. He is committed and did his job as always and his working between the Bulls and Springboks had no effect,” Ludeke said.
The Stormers still remain top of the South African conference after their 23-13 win over the Reds in Brisbane on Friday while the Sharks season continues to suffer from their erratic performances with a 18-12 loss at the hands of overall log leaders the Chiefs in Durban on Saturday. – Pretoria News