Bulls missed Matfield - Mallett
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett
says the Bulls "desperately" missed the experience of Victor Matfield
in their Super Rugby loss to the Lions at Ellis Park over the weekend.As it happened: Lions v Bulls
The Lions shocked the men from Pretoria, winning 32-21 to in all likelihood end any playoff hopes the Bulls may have harboured.
The Bulls decided to rest Matfield for the game, as part of their strategy to manage him in his comeback year.
It was a decision that backfired, according to Mallett.
Speaking as a pundit on SuperSport
, Mallett said: "It was a brave, gutsy performance by the Lions and the Bulls were masters of their own demise. They desperately missed their captain in Matfield, they looked leaderless and lacked motivation. They didn't look like a team desperate to make the playoffs. The Lions showed much more tenacity and commitment."
The Bulls are now down in ninth position on the Super Rugby log
with 33 points and, with just two games remaining after the international break, trail the sixth-placed Hurricanes by four points.
But the Chiefs (35 points), Western Force (36) and Highlanders (38) are also all ahead of the Bulls and have three matches to play, while the Brumbies are fourth with 40 points with two games left.
The Bulls' remaining two games are against the Stormers (Newlands, July 5) and Rebels (Loftus Versfeld, July 11).