Mitchell satisfied after Stormers draw
Pretoria - Bulls coach John Mitchell was a satisfied man after his side’s 26-all draw against the Stormers in Wellington this past weekend.
Despite the draw, reports from the game suggest the Bulls could have won as they turned down easy penalties at goal to look for more tries, and underlined their own motivation that the performance, rather than the result, was what matters for the team.
Mitchell however believes his side have grown extensively since going down to the Sharks a week before in Polokwane.
“There was certainly a good growth for us within a week. Obviously we’re trying to build depth and build a 38 and we flipped it this week,” Mitchell told the supersport.com website.
“The mindset was good and the start was terrific. I thought we left a bit out there, but we showed good attitude. Our structures are starting to show, and our set-piece went really well as well.
“The intent was good. We encouraged them to play what is in front of them. Today (Saturday) we were a bit pre-meditated and last week we had to survive off zero lineout. When I talked to the two experienced locks to tell them I’m starting them a week earlier they looked at me - but geez they did a good job today.
“Yeah the game was hot and had a lot of stoppages but our tempo was really good and our line speed was good defensively.”
Mitchell underlined the fact that some of the more experienced players would start getting introduced in the next week or so.
“We’re three weeks away from competition, so we have a week up our sleeves. We will need to start introducing more of our Japanese returnees, and our rehab returnees and our test players of last year, so over the next two weeks you will see them being introduced so that by the time we get to competition some guys will have close to 120-150 minutes of rugby.
“As you can see I’m trying to get through the halftime break with the guys playing 45 minutes and next week we will probably do a very similar approach and in our final week we will play a proper round of 60 odd minutes for most players.”
The Bulls face the Jaguares in their next pre-season friendly at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.