Conference system hurts Bulls

    2012-04-22 15:12

    Pretoria - Despite having a seven-point advantage over the Brumbies after Saturday's 36-34 victory over the Canberra team, the Bulls were still a place adrift on the overall Super Rugby log.

    This demonstrates the deformed conference system employed by SANZAR in the premier Southern Hemisphere provincial rugby competition, where the top team from each country gets an automatic entry into the top three on the overall log, irrespective of its total log points.

    The match, nonetheless, came down to the wire as the Brumbies launched a late assault to give the Bulls a good run for their money in their Super Rugby encounter at Loftus Versfeld.

    The Bulls may have won ugly, but coach Frans Ludeke said they would take the four points ahead of their crucial Australasia tour in a week's time.

    "This is a win and is vital, especially since this competition is tight," said Ludeke.

    "Playing at home, we had to do what we had to do."

    Ludeke, however, was not satisfied with his side's defence that let in two soft tries in the second half, and three at the death, to keep the Brumbies in the match.

    "The last 10 minutes we felt that we were not good enough as we gave them some easy tries. It was tight game squeeze at the end, but we kept them out."

    The hosts received a "get out of jail" card from flyhalf Morne Steyn, who finally produced the kind of kicking performance he is famous for, with the Springbok accountable for 26 of the outfit's points.

    Steyn has been struggling with his usually imposing kicking boot recently, but redeemed himself with seven penalties, a drop goal and a conversion.

    "That is why we believed in him and that he could bounce back. It showed the character of Morne," said Ludeke.

    "Credit to him and (kicking coach) Vlok Cilliers, they worked hard to sort the technical issue out."

    Ludeke lauded the Brumbies, having given his side an uphill battle in the match.

    "Credit to them. They are a good side," said Ludeke.

    "They were leading the Australian conference before this weekend and you could see it tonight (Saturday) that they are a quality side. They are well coached and they took the opportunities."

    At the 60 minute mark, the Bulls were comfortably on their way to record an emphatic victory as they enjoyed a 20-point lead. The tourists, however, struck back with a vengeance in the final 10 minutes to score three tries and get within two points of the Bulls.

    The hosts counted themselves lucky as time ran out for coach Jake White's men, who scored their last try in the 80th minute. Bulls skipper Pierre Spies said while the Brumbies came too close for comfort, they would happily take the result before their coming tour.

    "I think we did enough to get the lead and may have taken the foot off the pedal," Spies said.

    "The Brumbies kept on attacking and held on to the pretty good. What is important is that you win, and today was just another example of that.

    "I thing we've also been going five games in a row, so it is a good win for us."

    White conceded the Bulls deserved to win as his side allowed them to open a big gap before scraping back.

    "At one stage we were 30 points to 13 down and we let it slip, but at the same time we never had ball for long periods of time," said White.

    "The players in the change room were a little bit down, which proves how deflated they were after the result. A lot of people might have been happy with two points and scoring five tries."

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read


    26 February 2016
    • Blues v Highlanders, Eden Park 08:35
    • Brumbies v Hurricanes, GIO Stadium 10:40
    • Cheetahs v Argentina Super Rugby, Free State Stadium 19:00
    27 February 2016
    • Japan Super Rugby v Lions, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Reds, Allianz Stadium 10:40
    • Force v Rebels, nib Stadium 12:50
    • Kings v Sharks, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:00
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 17:05
    04 March 2016
    • Crusaders v Blues, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Brumbies v Waratahs, GIO Stadium 10:40


    04 July 2015
    27 June 2015
    20 June 2015
    13 June 2015
    12 June 2015
    06 June 2015
    05 June 2015
    30 May 2015
    29 May 2015
    23 May 2015
    22 May 2015
    16 May 2015
    15 May 2015
    09 May 2015
    08 May 2015
    02 May 2015
    01 May 2015
    26 April 2015
    25 April 2015
    24 April 2015
    18 April 2015
    17 April 2015
    11 April 2015
    10 April 2015
    04 April 2015
    03 April 2015
    28 March 2015
    27 March 2015
    22 March 2015
    21 March 2015
    20 March 2015
    14 March 2015
    13 March 2015
    07 March 2015
    06 March 2015
    28 February 2015
    27 February 2015
    21 February 2015
    20 February 2015
    15 February 2015
    14 February 2015
    13 February 2015


    Rank Team P W Pts


    “Craig Joubert deserves plaudits for making a gutsy call against the home side in the Super Rugby semis, writes Herman Mostert.”

    Opinion Poll

    Super Rugby is a thing of the past. Next up: The Rugby Championship. Who will emerge victorious this season?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.