Potgieter backs penalty calls

    2013-07-29 10:46

    Cape Town - Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter has defended his decision to turn down three kickable penalties and instead opt for lineouts in his team's Super Rugby semi-final loss to the Brumbies in Pretoria over the weekend.

    The Bulls, leading 20-19 at the time, were offered a trio of mostly easy-range penalties in the 67th, 70th and 72nd minutes, but each time Potgieter opted for an attacking lineout from which they failed to score.

    Eventually, in the 75th minute they opted to go for goal and took a 23-19 lead before a late try from centre Tevita Kuridrani snatched a 26-23 victory for the visitors.

    But Potgieter said he wanted to stick with an "attacking mentality" with an eye on a possible final against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

    "My decisions weren't just based on how we wanted to finish this game, but also how with what attitude we wanted to enter the next match," he told the Beeld website.

    "Our last game against the Chiefs was last year on tour. I think we lost that game (22-28) because we played too conservative. It often happens in a semi-final or final that you rely too much on defence. And that is where we were in the first couple of minutes. It doesn't always bring out the best in a team. That is why I thought an attacking attitude is important and that is also what got us back in the game (after trailing 10-0 early on)."

    Despite the loss, Potgieter said he was still proud of his team.

    "We were up against a side that was good in the set-pieces, we knew it was going to be a big battle.

    "When it counted, in the second half, our guys came through in those (set-piece) departments," he told the Rugby365 website.

    "The guys, after about 15 (to) 20 minutes, (they) made a mental switch and we decided to play the balanced attacking rugby that has suited us so well this year.

    "We got the lead and did really well, but once again a bad start probably put us on the back foot."

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