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    Bulls coach Mitchell welcomes bye week

    2018-04-03 10:27

    Brenden Nel - SuperSport

    Johannesburg - The Bulls welcome their second bye week of the competition this week after their win over the Stormers on Saturday. 

    Coach John Mitchell believes the bye has come at the perfect time for the Bulls, who have been working for eight weeks solid - even though they had a bye in the first round.

    Their second win at Loftus Versfeld was a big one and would have given the players a double dose of self-belief as they toppled their traditional rivals in an absorbing contest. 

    "We need the bye," Mitchell told the supersport.com website. "We had eight weeks of rugby and trials. It takes its toll mentally and physically. We are not in too bad shape." 

    Mitchell believes the win will do more for the Bulls than simply points, and after a tough tour where they didn’t get a victory overseas, the Bulls needed to believe again. 

    "It was a good win. We hung tough. We had a challenging week with flu and late replacements through niggles and injuries. The gees of the guys was just unbelievable. 

    "Sometimes in these games it becomes highly contestable and you have to learn to fight. You have to fight for longer and fight to the end. 

    "You've got to win these close one. We've let a couple go. In our building phase as a club I'd rather learn to get through this period now than perhaps have a run of bad results later down the track. Take hits now and learn how we can finish games." 

    While the Bulls have twice been on the receiving end of maul-tries, it was their turn to give some of their own medicine with two tries in the game, as veteran Adriaan Strauss grabbed a hat-trick of tries in the victory. 

    "It is a really important area of the game. It sets the platform. It builds the scoreboard and creates pressure on the referee to award yellow cards for cynical play," explained Mitchell. 

    He was also full of praise for Strauss. 

    "You don't just arrive at this milestone without showing endurance, toughness and perseverance," said Bulls coach John Mitchell. "It was terrific that he was able to start on his 149th Super Rugby game. 

    "He is just a great example to a lot of young guys. He is well respected. He has waited his opportunity. Not at any point has he complained. He has just kept working. He has been educational in terms of mentoring some of the young forwards. 

    "I'm so pleased for him that we got a win. Not often do players who celebrate milestones get the value of a win."

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    Fixtures

    Friday, 31 January 2020
    • Blues v Chiefs, Eden Park 08:05
    • Brumbies v Reds, GIO Stadium 10:15
    • Sharks v Bulls, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 19:10
    Saturday, 01 February 2020
    • Sunwolves v Rebels, Level5 Stadium 05:45
    • Crusaders v Waratahs, Trafalgar Park 08:05
    • Stormers v Hurricanes, Cape Town 15:05
    • Jaguares v Lions, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40
    Friday, 07 February 2020
    • Highlanders v Sharks, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:05
    • Brumbies v Rebels, GIO Stadium 10:15

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