Bulls coach Pote Human insists playoffs are still on
As he tried to extinguish the smoke that was coming from under his bonnet after the 45-13 crash to the Crusaders on Friday at Loftus, Bulls coach Pote Human remained defiant that they are still in contention for Super Rugby playoffs.
The loss meant the Bulls dropped to second in the SA conference with 28 points after the Sharks collected a losing bonus point yesterday, taking them to the top with 29 points.
"We are still in the race and it is not all done and dusted, we will keep on fighting until the end," he said after the match where the Crusaders outscored them by seven to one tries. We were outplayed on the night and credit to them, we made a couple of mistakes and they capitalised on everything. We have to learn from this experience and move forward."
Their mission of making the playoffs for the first time in more than six years is not going to be an easy one as they have a daunting four-week tour of Australasia which starts against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.
The remaining three matches of their tour sees them take on the Brumbies the following week before crossing the Tasman Sea where the Blues and the Highlanders will be waiting for them in Auckland and Dunedin.
Looking at the next few weeks that will define their season, Human pointed out that taking the players from the comfort of Loftus may be a blessing in disguise.
"There are no excuses, we have a great environment here at Loftus and the guys are a very close unit. But overseas they stay together. We can work things out by having meetings to get them to really believe in each other and in the team.
"We will get the guys away from here, go there and get together. It is not going to be easy, but we will see where we can get better and try to get match-winning performances away from home."
For most part of the game, the Crusaders put the Bulls defence under pressure and forced them into mistakes and Human said they are better than the way they played.
"We know that we are better than this and to be honest this was just not good enough. We are sometimes caught on the defence in the wide areas but as I said we have to learn from this experience and fix it before we go overseas. If you miss one-on-one tackles against these guys they are going to punish you."I think that in the second half we came back very well and played good rugby for periods of time but they are just brilliant on every loose ball. I think they are far ahead of everyone, they are a quality side and they are not the defending champions for nothing and they showed that tonight."Crusaders coach Scott Robertson praised his charges for a good shift in the Highveld where most overseas teams tend to struggle in high altitude."We embrace coming up here and we wanted to make sure that we run and enjoy the pace of the game. Every game of rugby is different, look at what happened to us last week against the Sharks, we make sure that we are switched on each week by doing our homework because things can change quickly because of injuries," said Robertson.