Both Bulls coach Frans Ludeke and captain Pierre Spies acknowledged that even though they beat the Western Force 25-24 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, it was a bad performance by the home side.
Ludeke highlighted the poor work-rate of a Bulls team that thoroughly dominated the scrums and was playing against 13 men after two yellow cards in quick succession at a crucial stage of the second half, while Spies called it a lack of intensity.
“Our work-rate wasn’t up to standard tonight, it was a stop-start game with a lot of penalties and perhaps from their side some negative play which worked for them. They conceded a lot of penalties and we could not make enough of it because we made too many mistakes ourselves,” Ludeke said after the game.
“We played against a desperate side and that is what happens, they play for 80 minutes and we could never build a score. They dominated the gain-line a few times in the game and that led to penalties and to tries. You obviously need your work-rate to be spot on, that is the thing about SuperRugby.”
Spies pointed out that a thunderstorm before the start of play accounted for an increase in handling errors, but added that this was still no excuse for their display.
“The ball was a bit wet tonight, so that makes the attack a bit difficult and also the speed of the ball at the ruck had an influence on our attack. But first we look at ourselves and the way we played tonight wasn’t good enough.
“The intensity was not there the whole game, we let them into the game with some soft moments and we actually did well to win it in the end. We were trying to build a good lead so that we can get the game going and every time they got back,” Spies said.
Force coach Michael Foley prizes positive rugby and he was pleased with the fact his side scored three tries.
“To come here and score three tries and certainly in the fashion the players got them in, to resist the pressure at different times of the game.
“You are always disappointed when you don’t get the result but if you can play rugby like that week in and week out then you are going to get some good results,” Foley said.