CAPE TOWN – Early errors cost the Bulls dearly in their 33-28 defeat to the Stormers in a warm-up match at the Cape Town Stadium yesterday.
The Bulls, wearing Captain America outfits for the Marvel Superhero-themed double-header, looked like mere mortals in the first 20 minutes of their encounter.
But while the Bulls would be concerned about the number of unforced errors, they will be happy with the character they showed to bounce back from 21-0 down.
Bulls coach Pote Human will take some comfort from the fact that his team recovered well and found their groove as the match progressed.
“I thought we played really well. I am excited, but it wasn’t good enough, and you have to win games like this,” Human said.
“They capitalised on our mistakes, but there are quite a few good things in our side, and I am really looking forward to this season.”
Springbok lock Lood de Jager put in a Superhero performance with a villainous temperament, stealing Stormers ball at lineout time.
The towering lock was a colossus in the loose and a terror on defence, making a few telling tackles at crucial stages in the match.
The Bulls were too impatient at times, with unforced errors resulting in Stormers tries against the run of play.
It was a chronic problem yesterday, with the Stormers scoring three of their four tries from turnover ball.
It may not have been the polished performance Human would have hoped for ahead of the Bulls’ opening Super Rugby match against the Stormers at Loftus next weekend, but there were promising aspects of their display.
…thanks for the great warmup at #SuperHeroSunday.
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) February 4, 2019
Human this week said he wanted to get his first-choice players to gel together as soon as possible, and from that point of view, it was a successful experiment.
He spoke about having sleepless nights over early pre-season injuries in certain positions, but fortunately for the Bulls coach, there were no incidents at hooker or flyhalf, where they lack depth.