We will never use the absence of star players as an excuse
Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar refused to make excuses as his team's season ended in a defeat to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
The Bulls needed to beat the Cheetahs with a bonus point and a points difference of at least eight, while ensuring the hosts did not earn a single point from the game to sneak into the semifinals.
However, they did not really come close as the Cheetahs allowed them over the tryline just once.
“It was a huge challenge from the get-go,” Pienaar said.
“We knew that we needed four tries and we played for that. We kicked out every penalty instead of taking shots at goal.
“The victory would have been nice, but in the end it would have meant nothing if we didn't have the four tries. Credit must go to the Cheetahs.
“They defended well and put us under huge pressure at the break down area. At the end of the day they deserved to win.”
Pienaar added that all was not lost for the Pretoria side and plenty of positives could still be taken from their season.
“We will never use the absence of star players as an excuse,” Pienaar said.
“This squad is one that can still be great. We only lost two players, Francois Venter and Jean Cook, to the Cheetahs for next year so the core of the team will remain the same.
“If we develop these players and look after them, they can become a solid unit in the future.”