'All we ask for is consistency'

Fri, 29 Mar 2013 10:12
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Referees came under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons last week, but the Bulls are focussing on themselves rather than worry about match officials.

Referees came under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons last week, but the Bulls are focussing on themselves rather than worry about match officials.

Despite being at the wrong end of a few questionable calls - including what many refereeing experts believe was a big mistake when Lionel Mapoe was yellow carded for a tackle - in their heartbreaking loss to the Reds, the Bulls are determined to end their Australasian tour on a winning note when they face the table-topping Brumbies on Saturday.

And to avoid falling foul of the referee again, Bulls captain Pierre Spies believes discipline will be vital against the Jake White-coached home team.

"The players in the squad all understand the importance of this game," Spies said in a interview from the team's base in Canberra.

After an impressive start to the four-match expedition, when they smashed the Blues in Auckland, the Bulls were outplayed by a determined Crusaders outfit and then edged by the Reds in a heartbreaking loss last week.

"The spirit in the team is still very positive," Spies said, adding: "We knew from the outset it was going to be tough.

"Last week we weren't playing at our best, but we were still in the game right to the last minute.

"This weekend is another opportunity for us to go onto the field and do what we are good at - we want to score some tries, we want to have an efficient game."

Asked about a number of the questionable calls that went against them last week, Spies confirmed that they are following the normal process in dealing with those.

"We have chatted to [SANZAR Game Manager] Lyndon Bray and we are awaiting some answers," Spies said.

"However, you have to take every weekend as it comes and adjust.

"All we ask for is consistency in what the referees do."

The Bulls captain said that last week is behind them now and they are focussing on a new game with a new referee.

While he readily acknowledges the qualities of the Australian conference leaders, the Brumbies, Spies said it is about the 80 minutes on the pitch.

"Ball retention is very important, you simply can't play without the ball," he said, when asked about what aspects will be key for the Bulls.

"You need to get momentum so you can build some pressure.

"It is something we struggled with against the Reds and one of our focus points this week is to get it right against a very good Brumbies team."

He said they owe their supporters and themselves a big game after the last two defeats.

"They [the Brumbies] are tough opposition, but we are a quality outfit and this is another opportunity to go do what we enjoy.

"It will be great if we can finish the tour on a high, with a win.

"We have put the past three weeks behind us. We are planning to have an efficient and successful 80 minutes on Saturday."

By Jan de Koning

Stormers vs Reds
sast: 17h15 | local: 17h15

  • 18 | 7
Sat, 24 March 2018
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Fri, 30 March 2018
Chiefs v Highlanders 06h35 Hamilton
Rebels v Hurricanes 08h45 Melbourne
Scarlets v La Rochelle 17h30 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 31 March 2018
Blues v Sharks 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Waratahs 08h45 Canberra
Sat, 24 March 2018
Kings v Treviso 35 | 36
Hurricanes v Highlanders 29 | 12
Sunwolves v Chiefs 10 | 61
Fri, 23 March 2018
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 18 | 20
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 68 | 7
Connacht v Edinburgh 22 | 29
Dragons v Cheetahs 17 | 29
Rebels v Sharks 46 | 14
Crusaders v Bulls 34 | 14
Mon, 19 March 2018
Shimlas v NMMU-Madibaz 28 | 22
UP-Tuks v UJ 30 | 30
Wits v NWU-Pukke 31 | 35
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 23 | 30
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 5 4 0 1 20
Reds 4 3 0 1 12
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 5 0 0 5 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 3 0 2 15
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 14
Chiefs 4 3 0 1 13
Highlanders 4 3 0 1 13
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 5 1 1 3 9
Bulls 5 1 0 4 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4