Bulls coach John Mitchell is happy with the fight his team showed in their 21-19 win against the Hurricanes in Pretoria on Saturday.
Mitchell said that despite the game not being ‘pretty’, he was very pleased with the defensive resolve his side showed to see it out.
‘It wasn’t pretty out there. But we endured the distance of the match far greater than what the Hurricanes did, which was encouraging.
‘We always knew that we were ready, but it was just a matter of seeing if we could go the distance, to get through those untidy periods.
‘We were fortunate, there was an untidy period after half-time where we did not concede and we spent too much time in our own half. But the game is always going to be full of mistakes and it is how you respond [that counts].
Man of the Match RG Snyman made an impressive contribution both with his work rate and ball in hand, which was highlighted when he broke through two tackles and put second-row partner Lood de Jager away for a try.
‘Lood and RG were a good combination today,’ said Mitchell. ‘They made some good inroads off our No 9 [André Warner]. They are quite quick and skilful and they both had to go the distance today which is commendable as well.’
Mitchell added that there were areas that his side could build on despite the impressive win.
‘Our first try [scored by Johnny Kotze] was a nice try. There were some really good aspects of play. But we must continue to build pressure with the ball a lot longer and that way we can start asking more questions of sides.’
Meanwhile, Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd lamented what he called the worst loss of his tenure at the Super Rugby team.
‘In the period of time that I’ve been coaching, I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in a game where we’ve prepared so well and delivered so little.
‘We’d been preparing to play the Bulls at altitude since 25 November and probably earlier than that, because we knew what we were faced with.
‘The things that we normally do, we just stopped doing. So our defence was passive and wasn’t well connected and when we started trying to play, we ran out of bodies to play with because guys weren’t getting there.
‘It’s easy in these situations to start pointing the finger and trying to find a solution and there’s probably not one thing; there’s probably a whole bunch of things. But, at the end of the day, that’s probably the worst performance in the four years – or three and a bit years – that I’ve been involved in the Hurricanes.’
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images