Vodacom Bulls boss Jake White has accused the Sharks of deliberately slowing down the game between the sides this past Saturday, saying the delaying tactic goes directly against what Rassie Erasmus wants from South African teams.
The Sharks stunned the Bulls 29-22 at Loftus on Saturday, after both teams had been reduced to 14 men following red cards to Morne Steyn and Grant Williams.
In the aftermath of the result, White has now said had the Sharks not slowed the game down, the Bulls might’ve won the match.
“If the Sharks had been able to play a bit quicker, [it would’ve been interesting]. They definitely said they were going to,” White told Sport24.
“But that was the slowest game that we’ve played from an opposition point of view. I spoke previously about the altitude factor because the [coastal teams] said it wasn’t affecting them, yet the Sharks were dead on their feet.
“The more we wanted to play, the more they walked from set piece to set piece and the more their medical staff were on the field.”
White added that the tactics the Sharks employed, was in stark contrast to what Erasmus – as SA Rugby’s director of rugby – requested from local franchises, which is to try and play high-tempo matches as much as they can.
“When I came into the Bulls job, Rassie was massive on ball in play and making sure we don’t kill the game and making sure we don’t make referees not understand that,” said White.
“I just feel for the last couple of weeks that picture is not being sketched.
“I would like to think after this that there’s enough evidence to show that teams who control the tempo and intensity should be rewarded,” said White.
“We can’t have a situation where a match official doesn’t get the understanding of why this [philosophy] was put in place. It’s obvious that Rassie put a premium on this because he coached at Munster and clearly understands what it takes for us to be competitive and successful in the URC.
“I’ve been watching domestic games over the past months and I believe we’re missing a trick.”