Pretoria - Griquas coach Pote Human branded his team's Currie Cup match against the Blue Bulls on Friday evening as one of the worst he had ever witnessed.
“It was very bad. I think it must be one of the worst games I've watched, as a spectator or as a coach,” Human said.
“If we ever had an opportunity to beat the Bulls, we could have done it tonight because they didn't want to play, but neither did we.
“Maybe all the penalties were disrupting to the players, but it felt like they were scared to play.”
His Blue Bulls counterpart, Pine Pienaar, admitted there was little to write home about after his side's 15-9 victory at Loftus Versfeld.
“There were a lot of penalties and turnovers on both sides and that is it,” Pienaar said.
“What you can maybe write is that both sides defended pretty well, and on our side we scrambled really well and forced a few turnovers.
“The gainline battle from the beginning was a huge aspect for us, so I'm happy with that.”
The score reflected the mistake-ridden match where neither side was deserving of a try, and place-kicking decided the winner.
Blue Bulls fullback Jurgen Visser bagged three penalty conversions with two more going to flyhalf Tony Jantjies.
Francois Brummer scored all his side's points, following two earlier failed attempts by regular kicker for the Griquas, Nico Scheepers.
Referee Marius van der Westhuizen stole the limelight when he gave Bulls replacement scrumhalf Ruan Snyman a yellow card for a skewed feed at the scrum.
The referees had been instructed to clamp down on this facet of play and Snyman was unfortunate to be on the receiving end.
Earlier, run-on Bulls halfback Rudy Paige was warned for his put-in and, when Snyman's feed landed under his scrum's feet, he was sent packing with Van der Westhuizen saying he was “making a mockery of the scrum feed."
Van der Westhuizen had warned the teams before the match that he would crack down on the scrum feeds, Pienaar said.
“That is the instruction the refs got, and it is something we will have to adapt to, and you will have to work out how to get the scrums going so that it works for you,” Pienaar said.
Human sympathised with Snyman but concurred with Pienaar that teams needed to adapt to the referees' calls.
The stricter application of the rule also impacted the Griquas as Human replaced scrumhalf Jacques Coetzee in the 30th minute before he could be sent off for a skewed feed.
“This is the rule and we will have to adapt. We can't blame the referee,” Human said.
“Coetzee was penalised once or twice for his feed and it rattled him and it influenced his game…and he also could have been yellow-carded.
“I feel sorry for Ruan, I don't think he was on the field long when he received the yellow card.”
In a parting shot, Human said the match was not good for South African rugby following the quality opening Currie Cup matches last weekend.
“I didn't watch the Sharks match (against the Lions) but it must have been a good match if you are looking at the score, then you get this circus outside. And now we have to drive back on the bus!” Human said.