JOHANNESBURG – A few skilful touches in their warm-up match against the Stormers left Bulls coach Pote Human optimistic about his team’s progress ahead of the start of the 2019 Super Rugby campaign.
The Bulls at times made too many fifty-fifty passes which led to unforced errors in their 33-28 defeat to the Stormers in Sunday’s Super Hero-themed match in Cape Town.
Most of the mistakes happened in the first half with the team recovering well to take the lead shortly after the half-time break before a late try resulted in a Stormers victory.
“I must compliment Chris Rossouw (backline and attack coach) coming in and working really hard with the guys,” Human said after the match. “It is exciting times and especially with the way we want to play, everybody knows the old style of play at the Bulls.
“We want to play expansive rugby and I think we are on the right path.”
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Human, who was named as John Mitchell’s replacement as Super Rugby mentor in December, said he retained some of the former All Blacks coach’s playbook while making a few adjustments.
“He (Mitchell) lay the foundation and all the players are excited about the season and now it is time to produce, it showed again today,” Human said.
“He laid the foundation and we’ll tweak here and with Chris coming in, I am very happy.”
Human said he was not concerned about the defeat as the match gave him a platform to experiment and test combinations before the season started.
He fielded his strongest possible starting team before making a few changes at the turn of the match which would have given him some confidence in his depth beyond the first-choice players.
“It is always bad to lose against the Stormers but I thought we played well and there is something we can build on,” Human said.
Bulls captain Lood de Jager echoed Human’s sentiments highlighting that they still had this weekend’s warmup match against the Sharks in Durban to make further tweaks before their Super Rugby opener against the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on February 16.
“We are focusing on the processes at the moment, there is a bigger picture, so for us, it was just about executing our plays,” De Jager, pictured, said.
“For now we are trying to work on certain things so it was good for us to work on that.”
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