Bulls coach John Mitchell questioned some of the refereeing decisions in their game against the Sharks at Loftus on Saturday.
The Bulls registered a thrilling 39-33 victory against the Sharks to move up to third in the South African conference, above their opponents.
The hosts, though, did concede a high number of penalties and RG Snyman was yellow-carded for a shoulder charge on Sharks scrumhalf Cameron Wright.
‘The game is getting a little bit tender if that’s a yellow card, but unfortunately, we had to deal with it,’ said Mitchell.
‘Every referee has his own idiosyncrasies and he is also reliant on his ARs [assistant referees] and sometimes the ARs can be a little under fatigue.’
Mitchell says he was particularly impressed with his team’s maturity on attack after they outscored the Sharks five tries to three.
‘We gave away a few soft tries and left a few points out there ourselves, but I was really impressed with the attitude of the guys. I enjoyed the urgency of the guys to get back into shape and if we continue to do that, we’ll always present ourselves with more scoring opportunities.
‘One of the things I’m enjoying about the side is the maturity and calmness that comes with it. It enables us to reset and re-establish momentum. That’s a really important part of our growth. The Bulls were very much scoreboard focused before my time, whereas now it’s about making sure we’re consistent in our detail and processes.’
Mitchell added that the Bulls’ pace set the tone for the rest of the game, as it deprived the Sharks of any real momentum.
‘We put our stamp on the match early. They [the Sharks] are very much a momentum team and we knew all along that we were going to have to stop their momentum. They are extremely good at the offload, so the defending team is not always going to get it right. But we put them to the floor the majority of the time and we scrambled quite well and saved situations well. If you stop their momentum, their options become less because their alignment is very singular and that’s a lot easier to defend against.’
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