Bulls coach Nollis Marais says South African sides are not as fit or well conditioned as their New Zealand counterparts.
'We could see clearly that the Bulls struggled with our tempo [and] how quickly we could play,' said Crusaders coach Scott Robertson. 'Super Rugby is a fast game, a tempo game – it is a game with a high skill level. You make errors when you are fatigued and it showed when we got momentum and played with speed they [the Bulls] struggled to stay with us.'
In an interview with SuperSport.com, Marais admitted this was the case.
'I think we are not up to the level of New Zealand teams with fitness and intensity and you can see that in all the matches,' he said.
'I don’t want to talk about other provinces but you can see it in all the matches, they have a different reaction speed and breakdown intensity. That is something we’re experiencing for the first time this year, last year we only played Australian teams and we have fallen behind there.
'That is the area where we have to adapt, the whole of South Africa has to adapt and that will be a challenge for us.'
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