Bulls coach John Mitchell slammed the Rebels for their negative tactics at Loftus on Saturday.
The Bulls scored three first-half tries to lead 21-3 at the break, but were stifled in the second half as the Rebels lifted their intensity in the collisions and set pieces. The hosts were only to add one more try to secure a 28-10 win.
Mitchell commended his side for ‘winning ugly’ while berating the visitors for the way they tried to slow the game down.
‘You have to win ugly in this competition, but our performance wasn’t superb on attack. We presented ourselves with enough opportunities, especially in the first half. But the guys need to be commended for their composure and clearly [there was] a strategic move by the opposition to slow the game down.
‘I’m not sure Sanzaar needs a product like that. It certainly wasn’t our doing and it is amazing, it might have suited a Bulls team of old. There were 48 minutes running time in the first half, and 52 minutes in the second. If the game is going to head in that direction, then it’s totally negative.’
Mitchell refused to lay the blame on referee Ben O’Keefe, who at times took a hands-off approach, allowing frustration to grow among the Bulls players.
‘I’m actually not sure whether to judge Ben at all because I’m not sure what the game constitutes or the protocols that exist. Is that law? It is certainly not a presentable fabric of this awesome game in a way that it can be played.
‘I think the whole panel will take a good look at it,’ he added. ‘Like with us, there is a lot of emotion after a performance. But we will take the five points. We got there in a difficult way, in a very challenging way and like I said, I commend the guys for the way they didn’t let their frustration get to them. And we kept the Rebels to 10 points, which is awesome.
‘We put some very good linespeed on them. I don’t think we were terrific in the tackle, but some weeks you don’t get it right and you’ve just got to hang in there right to the end and that is where the guys need to be given credit.’
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