Handre Pollard has made it clear he wants improvement from his tea this week. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Bulls captain Handre Pollard believes his side’s unconvincing 28-21 win over the Waratahs could be a blessing in disguise as they won’t have to worry about complacency before their clash against the Crusaders.

The Bulls moved into second place on the overall Super Rugby log behind the pace-setting defending champion Crusaders.

“It is frustrating, but I feel it is actually a good thing because we will be very hard on each other this week,” Pollard said after the match.

“If everything just stuck we would have been flying high and then had a big reality check against the Crusaders.

“We got it tonight (reality check) while we still got the win and going into this week we will be very hard on each other.”

Pollard admitted the team needed to make serious improvements ahead of the clash against the Crusaders.

The Bulls blew hot and cold against the Waratahs squandering a 21-7 lead over the Waratahs to come within a whisker of a defeat.

The side drew level halfway through the second half before replacement prop Simphiwe Matanzima spared their blushes with a diving try.

“We weren’t accurate enough, we created opportunities, but you have to capitalise,” Pollard said.

“We were lucky to get away with it tonight; next week won’t be the same story so we will have to make small adjustments where necessary.

“We have to be more accurate if we want to contend in this competition.”

In the build-up to the match, Bulls coach Pote Human said he had challenged the pack of forwards to lead the charge against the Waratahs.

That is exactly what they did with a stellar scrum performance where they did not only milk penalties but placed the Waratahs on the front-foot.

The Bulls front-row of Trevor Nyakane and Lizo Gqoboka continue to thrive in the engine room featuring high on the Bok radar for the Rugby World Cup.

“We had a big ask of the forwards this week, we told them straight ‘you’ve got to pitch otherwise we can write this one off’, and they clearly did,” Pollard said.

“Not just in terms of physical hits but the scrum was truly unbelievable, that basically won us the game.”

Pollard said the team would have to hit the ground running ahead of the clash against the Crusaders.

They may be second behind the Crusaders, but the New Zealand franchise are 12 points ahead of the Bulls on the log.

“We need to get better each week, you can just look at the log, the one week you are in it, and two weeks later you might be out of it,” Pollard said.

“You need to be at your best every week in this competition. If you are five percent off your game, then you won’t win it.”


The Star

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