PRETORIA - Blue Bulls coach John Mitchell still harbours hope his side can make the Currie Cup semi-finals even though they lie second from the bottom on the log.
Disappointed following his side’s controversial 46-45 loss to Western Province, Mitchell is optimistic the men in blue can still get the 10 points required to get to 32 points on the log and secure themselves a spot in the play-offs along with the Sharks and Western Province.
While the loss to their rivals would have been more heartbreaking especially in the manner in which it happened, the Bulls kept a glimmer of hope with the seven tries they scored and losing within seven points to earn themselves two crucial bonus points which has placed them three points adrift of the fourth placed Lions.
But the Bulls will be crossing fingers that the likes of the Cheetahs, Lions and Pumas drop points in the final two weeks of the round robin stage of the competition with the Bulls in control of the fate of both the Cheetahs and Pumas, who they play in the next two weeks.
The top five sides will be playing against each other in the next two weeks leaving Mitchell’s side the perfect opportunity of holding their fate in their own hands.
“I think so. 32 is possible,” said Mitchell. “Of course but I’m also realistic of where the club is at, the athletes are at and the talent that we have in this current Currie Cup.
"We are not the most experienced compared to other sides. I think we are building nicely and it is unfortunate that the game (Western Province) went down to a referee’s decision.”
The Bulls will head to Bloemfontein on Friday with the sole intention of returning with all five points for a bonus point victory which will take them a step closer to their unlikely dream.
The Bulls could be justified in believing that the Cheetahs are vulnerable and ripe for the picking after the defending champions suffered a 59-24 rugby lessons at the hands of Griquas on Saturday.
“No we won’t change our intent, we’ll keep at it. We are still in the hunt we just got to keeping fighting and eventually we’ll earn it,” Mitchell said.
Ultimately the Bulls will need to continue backing and embracing the upward trajectory in their performances even though the results say otherwise, and refuse to dwell on the weaknesses that have stood between themselves and victory in their last three games.
All Mitchell wants is for his team is to trust in the new direction he is taking them and continue to show improvement in all areas of the game.
“There is always things to do better, we need to stick to the same stuff and get better at it. If you wanted to, you could pick out a mistake in just about everything and that’s not my style. I feel for the players.”