Bulls look for improved performance in ‘must win’ tie against Rebels
Human admits the players were far from at their best against the Crusaders in their 45-13 defeat at Loftus Versfeld over the weekend.
“The players can be better, I know they are better than what they showed against the Crusaders and it is now the second time they didn’t pitch against a New Zealand side,” Human said.
“I think it is a mental thing and we need to rectify it this weekend.”
Human believes the Bulls can still salvage their campaign but they would have to beat the Rebels to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Bulls are in second place in the South African Conference which is an identical situation to the Rebels.
“The guys understand the importance of the match, we do not just want to participate, we want to compete and get into the playoffs. So for it is a must win,” he said.
Human made three changes to the starting XV with Tier Schoeman replacing Marco van Staden and Hanro Liebenberg returning in the place of Jannes Kirsten. Fullback Warrick Gelant recovered from tonsilitis and is back on his post in the last line of defence.
Schoeman is given a run in anticipation of Springbok number eight Duane Vermeulen’s departure halfway through the tour as per the SA Rugby protocols.
Human said the team had to do a fair bit of introspection following their loss to the Crusaders at home.
“We had a hard look at ourselves on Monday arriving here, we went through all the clips and had a hard chat with everyone,” Human said.
“We definitely can’t play like that kicking the ball away. Our defence wasn’t good, missing one-on-one tackles and we gave away too many soft tries.
“We have to play more rugby, keep the ball in hand and we have to score tries if we want to win this competition.”
Although the Bulls have an abysmal record on tour, they can take some comfort in their five victories in six matches against the Rebels. The Bulls have not won a match on tour over the last two years but Human believes there is good reason for optimism.
“We have spoken about it, and people say we can’t away from home especially on tour,” Human said.
“But I think we have a good record in South Africa where we beat the Lions, the Stormers and the Sharks away.”@ockertde