Marais laments inaccurate Bulls
REACTION: Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais was left disappointed with his team's inaccuracy after they suffered a 20-43 defeat at the hands of the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Marais highlighted their poor conversion rate as well as the setpieces that let them down.
"We were not accurate, we should have had a better conversion rate but our attacking plays are not good enough at the moment even though we created a lot of opportunities. That was the difference in the match as the Cheetahs made the most of their opportunities.
"We lost five line-outs, conceded two scrum penalties and made numerous handling errors. In this competition, teams like the Cheetahs will hurt you if those are your setpiece stats. It is not nice to give away five points and not pick up anything ourselves. Luckily it is early in the competition, so we will need to get a few things right.
"It is not only this game that we made mistakes in, we did the same against Western Province as well but because of the win, we weren't hard enough on ourselves. Hopefully, the players now realise what is needed to win the competition.
"I believe we are good enough to win it [the Currie Cup] and it doesn't matter what people say after this result. However, if we want to win it we will need to sort out our setpieces and our accuracy on attacks," Marais said.
Marais had special praise for Eastern Province coach Barend Pieterse - their next opponents - for what he has managed to accomplish in the minimal time he has had with a newly formed team.
"I think the Kings did really well for a team that has been together for just three days. I think they will improve each week and are tough opponents because you don't know what they will bring. In saying that, it's better for us to focus on ourselves and correct the mistakes we made," he added.
Despite the drama surrounding the Currie Cup, Marais believes it remains an important tournament in grooming the next Super Rugby players.
"The Currie Cup is highly important for the country. You have to give the young players the platform to play their way into the Super Rugby competition. It [Currie Cup] shows how much talent we have and we will see that talent come through [the ranks]," he stated.