Sunwolves were tactically better

Sat, 08 Apr 2017 21:37

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: Bulls captain Adriaan Strauss was quick to admit that the Sunwolves were tactically better after the Japanese-based side claimed a shock 21-20 victory.

A 75th-minute penalty from replacement Yu Tamura proved to be the difference as the Bulls slumped to a fifth defeat in six games this season, however, Strauss believed the Sunwolves punished their inability to retain possession.

"We were under a lot of pressure, the instructions was that we needed to get the territory and possession. We didn't do that, especially the first 15 to 20 minutes where we tried to run the ball from all over. They punished us when they got the turnover ball.

"We had weak moments but the Sunwolves played great tactical rugby. Their defence was very good and they have a great ability to hold onto the ball and stretch you out wide and test your defence. 

"They also showed that they can play a tactical game, whether that is with kicking and getting into the right areas or running it themselves into the right areas. The Sunwolves outplayed us for most of the game and were physically up for it. 

"[They] Played great, constructive rugby where they held onto the ball," Strauss said.

The Bulls were reduced to 14 men for the final 12 minutes of the match and while they handled the pressure on a previous occasion, coach Nollis Marais admits it was a lot more difficult this time around.

"Unfortunately it [the yellow card] cost us in the end. The last time we played with 14 guys, it inspired us but today it was difficult to defend. I still felt that we could win the game in the end but we missed the late penalty.

"I think with 15 minutes left in the game, it's difficult to defend with 14 men but we should not have been in that position in the first place and weren't good enough," Marais said.

Marais agreed with his captain that were simply outplayed on the day.

"We were outplayed, made too many errors - kicking for touch, kicking directly out. Small things that cost us momentum and that changed a lot of things of the game.

"The Sunwolves defended well, they came off the line and put us under pressure and we made handling errors. Our plan was to hold onto the ball from the beginning but that never went well. They rushed us into mistakes and we panicked at the end and they gave us problems," he added.

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Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
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 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4